I think Josh Green has this about right. Yesterday, I noted that after a flurry of non- and aborted candidacies, the House GOP caucus was about to replace Eric Cantor with someone the Tea Party views as either equivalent to Cantor or if anything slightly less conservative or stalwart in his politics. This requires some explanation. The Tea Party, even if most of the national groups were out of the loop, just effectively decapitated the GOP leadership in the House, arguably in the whole Congress. And they didn’t mobilize quickly to put one of their own in his place?
The logical person was Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R). No one doubts he’s a hard down-the-line conservative. He’s pre-Tea Party but very much part of the Republican Study Committee crowd. And he’s also polished and respected. Not a Yahoo like Gohmert or Bachmann who’s going to embarrass everyone.
I don’t have any insight into why he passed on this run. And I don’t know if the story is known to people in the know. My hunch was that he looked at the situation, saw the disarray, noted that Boehner may not want the top slot for that much longer and figured: why put myself out there when there’s so much flux and blood on the floor? I can afford to wait. And McCarthy’s hold won’t be strong enough to ward me off in a year or three.
Maybe it’s entirely different. Maybe he just doesn’t want to be in the leadership.
But again, why didn’t the Tea Party or the RSC put one of their own up for this? FreedomWorks is trying for Raul Labrador now but that’s too little too late and I think largely a joke.