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Guesswork

Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is seen after a meeting about avoiding a railroad worker strike with President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc v... House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is seen after a meeting about avoiding a railroad worker strike with President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 3, 2023 11:25 a.m.

On the big vote, my best guess is that through some set of machinations Kevin McCarthy becomes speaker today — likely a mix of abstentions and votes secured through desperate promises. I say that for only two reasons, both flimsy and thin. One is what I’d call metaphorical body language from the top Freedom Caucus arsonists. They say they’re unmovable and yet they’re still sitting at the table holding their cards like they are. The second is that political parties usually find ways to make things work at pivotal moments — the half time entertainer at the Super Bowl never forgets their lyrics. As I said, these are both pretty thin reasons. But they’re why that is my assumption going in.

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