WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

House Speaker Boehner survives; hear full Carper & Carney interviews about fiscal cliff

Conservative media had been abuzz with rumors that House Speaker John Boehner could be ousted in the new Congress.

Indeed, one could imagine a perfect storm where Tea Party conservatives & other hard-right Republicans retaliated against the speaker, while more moderate Northeastern / Mid-Atlantic Republicans rebelled because of Boehner's inept handling of the Superstorm Sandy relief.

But, by mid-afternoon Thursday, the U.S. House re-elected Boehner. The Ohio Republican won a second, two-year term as leader with 220 votes, losing just a handful of votes in the G.O.P.-controlled chamber.

Boehner can thank his lucky stars that no credible figure emerged to challenge him. The # 2 Republican House leader, Eric Cantor, would have been an obvious opponent. But unless Cantor were waging an utterly phantom, subterranean campaign, the Virginia representative didn't appear to want the speakership at this time. No one wanted to try for House Speaker and come up short. Perhaps, at some level, any would-be credible challenger also feared presiding over a House G.O.P. gripped by its internal convulsions. Bluntly, who would WANT the speakership under these conditions?

(Idle chatter: The House G.O.P. is so fractured, and the Dems so relatively united, that Nancy Pelosi theoretically could have won the Speakership, if enough Republicans abstained or voted AGAINST Boehner, even absent a credible G.O.P. challenger. It didn't happen - obviously - but with such talk, Dems salivate like Pavlov's dog!)

Consider: Mitt Romney's running mate - Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan - was one of the 85 House Republicans to vote FOR the fiscal cliff deal. (This didn't get very much attention in the initial media accounts. Imagine!)

So much for Ryan harnessing the Tea Party winds against Speaker Boehner.

(It's amusing to note this contrast: Delaware's senior U.S. Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat, voted 'no' on the fiscal cliff deal brokered by fellow Delawarean, Joe Biden.
Congressman Paul Ryan, whom many Tea Party conservatives & conservative media almost forced onto the Romney Presidential ticket, voted 'yes'.)

Hear my interview with Senator Carper about his vote AGAINST the fiscal cliff deal...

Audio Here

Hear my interview with Congressman Carney about his vote FOR the fiscal cliff deal (although with significant reservations)...

Audio Here

The NEW YORK TIMES chronicles Boehner's re-election...


POLITICO brings us the back story about the House Republicans who voted 'yes'...


Posted at 6:17am on January 3, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 6:54am
I sure long for the good ole' days of the Bill Clinton/Newt Gingrich alliance!

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 8:15am

Boehner most certainly could be ousted as House Speaker. He appears ineffectual and seems unpopular even in his own caucus. On Christmas Eve, Boehner famously struck a deal with Obama on a plan that would raise taxes on everybody earning more than $1,000,000 per year (people like Mr. Pizza) but Boehner's own caucus refused to vote on the deal.

On the deal that was passed this week, Boehner seemed almost a spectator, on the outside looking in.

Conceivably, somebody like Paul Ryan could become Speaker if he can rally enough Tea partiers and centrist Republicans around him.

Allan Loudell
Thu, Jan 3, 2013 8:24am
Except again, teatime, Paul Ryan voted FOR the deal!

For fiscal conservatives upset with Boehner, that doesn't suggest they'd want to support Ryan at this time.

Plus, as I noted above, who wants such hardship? You'd have to be a masochist!

Allan Loudell

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 1:29pm
It would appear that the next speaker should be ABB (anybody but Boehner). Right now, Boehner doesn't seem to have respect from lawmakers in either the Democratic or Republican party.

Of note, is how Boehner managed to anger legislators on both sides of the aisle by ignoring a request to vote on a relief package for victims of Superstorm Sandy. Republican Governor Chris Christie went so far as to call Boehner "disgusting."

If Boehner is drawing animus from people in his party, and his own caucus, it's impossible to see him continue as speaker.

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 2:01pm
Boehner is back. Just got 215 (now 219 votes) No Republican challenger came forth. Eric Cantor voiced his support for Boehner. Allan West (Tea Partier fired by his voters) got two protest votes' Colin Powell got one (one does not have to be a member of the House to be Speaker (I did not know that) and a Representative from Idaho by the name of Labrador got one protest vote as well.

It appears Tea Party members have cooled their jets - having lost most of their most outspoken spokespeople last November - content on trying to move their agenda forward by actually working with Republicans within the system... One can only hope...

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 2:02pm
And I should add.... as always... Breitbart and those who follow them, have no idea of what they are talking about....

I think they just make up stuff over there.

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 2:13pm
Just heard Boehner tell the Tea Party... "The door is right behind you."

He went on ... I come humbled by the task before you, and are willing to put effort into fixing our nation's greatest problem, then welcome...

Or something along those lines.... John Dingle of Michigan, he also voted for the fiscal cliff, administered the Oath of Office for Boehner.

and yes... Boehner got a little choked up again... as he did four years ago

Cantor is again majority leader.
Democrats have elected Nancy Pelosi again.
Kevin McCarthy is Republican Majority whip.
Stenny Hoyer is Democratic Minority whip...

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 2:22pm
Lol... when swearing in the new Senate members, Joe Biden just joked he'd been in the Senate 200 years... :)

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 10:14pm
kavips...the folks who follow Breitbart knew that without secret ballots Boehner would not be unseated due to fear of retribution. Boehner had already purged several Tea Party members (Jones, Amash, Schweiker and Huelskamp) from key committees prior to this vote.


Fri, Jan 4, 2013 6:58am
Boehner is a buffoon. I knew from the first day he was chosen as speaker and acted like "Mr. Boo-hoo" that his public relations skills were not suitable for the job.

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