John Boehner Is The New Republican Majority Leader In The House

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio defeated Roy Blunt to replace Tom DeLay as the new Majority Leader in the House. Here are the details of how the vote broke down:

“Blunt’s position in leadership had made him the front-runner, but he ended seven votes short of the necessary majority on a first-round secret ballot. He had 110 votes and Boehner had 79. Shadegg received 40 and Rep. Jim Ryun of Kansas, who was not an announced candidate, got two votes.

After Shadegg and Ryun dropped out, Boehner won his second-ballot victory.”

Shadegg was the biggest reformer, which led to his getting enormous support in the blogosphere and from conservatives online. Unfortunately, Shadegg got in the race late, after a lot of congressmen had already made commitments to Boehner or Blunt and in the end, that may have been what kept him from winning.

On the other hand, even though Shadegg lost, he can still hold his head high. Like Mike Pence before him, he has now built a name for himself as a principled conservative and more importantly, he made a big difference in this race. Not only did his candidacy undoubtedly force both Boehner and Blunt to promise more ethics and spending reforms than they initially intended, had Shadegg not gotten into the race, turned the whole thing into a “reform-off,” and peeled off those 40 votes, Blunt would have likely won in a walk on the first ballot.

As for Boehner, he was the middle-of-the-road guy. He didn’t get the rock star’s welcome that Shadegg did, nor was written off as a “more-of-the-same” candidate like Blunt. While personally I endorsed Shadegg and would have strongly preferred him as the new Majority Leader, I think Boehner may make some much needed changes in the House and has the potential to be an excellent Majority Leader.

So let’s hope Boehner gets out there, does what he has to do, and turns out to be a huge asset to the GOP.

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