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Could Big Kev Be Toast?

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 04: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) speaks as he joined by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) in the Rose Garden of the White House on January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump hosted both Democr... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 04: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) speaks as he joined by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) in the Rose Garden of the White House on January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump hosted both Democratic and Republican lawmakers at the White House for the second meeting in three days as the government shutdown heads into its third week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 30, 2022 11:20 a.m.

I’ve written repeatedly that Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) remains highly likely to become Speaker of the House on January 3rd, despite all the sturm und drang to the contrary. But I admit I’m a bit less sure than I was. We should also remember that if McCarthy cannot muster the votes to become Speaker, that is almost certainly the end of his career in electoral politics. (It’s not like he can run statewide in California.) And if tradition holds his defeat would be followed in short order by his resignation and departure from Congress. You don’t get passed over twice for Speaker and remain in the leadership or in Congress.

Yet, to understand this drama, we must remember that it has nothing to do with Kevin McCarthy. To the extent McCarthy’s opponents have made an argument against him it largely turns on the mean things his predecessors John Boehner and Paul Ryan allegedly did to them when they were Speaker.

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