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February 02, 2006 09:00 AM UTC

John Boehner Elected Majority Leader in Upset

  • 9 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

From CNN:

House Republicans on Thursday elected U.S. Rep. John Boehner of Ohio as majority leader. He upset Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri in a 122-109 vote on the second ballot. Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona dropped out of the running after the first ballot. After the vote, Boehner said “It’s been a well-fought race.”

“Our members wanted to, obviously, make a big decision, and they did,” Boehner said. “What you’re going to see us do is rededicate ourselves to dealing with issues — big Issues — that the American people expect us to deal with.”

Blunt, who was re-elected as majority whip, the No. 3 leadership position, said “I’m absolutely at peace with” the decision. Blunt, who was the front-runner going into today’s meeting, said he promised during the race to say only nice things about Boehner when he called members seeking their support, but, after losing the vote, he joked “I might have overdone it a bit.”

Boehner is an eight-term congressman from the Cincinnati area. He served in the GOP leadership after the Republicans won control of both houses of Congress in 1994, but he was bounced out after they lost seats in the 1998 elections. He had offered himself as a reform candidate to succeed Tom DeLay, who faces money-laundering charges in his home state of Texas.

Boehner’s ascension comes as other Republicans have raised concerns about an extensive influence-peddling probe involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to corruption charges in January and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. DeLay announced January 7 that he would not try to reclaim the House majority leader post, although he said he will seek re-election in his Houston area district in November. DeLay also has ties to Abramoff.

The race for majority leader appeared to turn on the desire for members to present a fresh face to the public and distance themselves from Washington’s K Street, or lobbyist, community. Blunt was a part of DeLay’s leadership team and has ties to K Street.

Comments

9 thoughts on “John Boehner Elected Majority Leader in Upset

  1. meet the new boss, same as the old boss…

    Boehner is a consumate Washington insider with strong ties to K-Street. Looks like the GOP isn’t really that serious about reform.

    pretty amusing that they had to take a mulligan on the first vote

  2. If Hefley was voting with his prior ethical bias, he probably voted Shaddig in the first round and abstained in the second…  If not, my guess is he voted Boehner over Blunt, since Boehner is less connected to DeLay. (Boehner “owned” the K Street GOP House liason efforts before DeLay was elected Majority Leader.  Dems will probably focus on his most blatant lobbyist tie: handing out tobacco lobby checks on the floor of the House during a vote on tobacco legislation…)

  3. I’m trying to figure out ol’ Bob’s position on the House Majority Race. First, he was reported as backing Roy Blunt in the National Journal:

    http://hotlineblog.nationaljournal.com/archives/2006/01/inside_the_numb_1.html#more

    Then, he gets on the radio and states that he just liked all three of the candidates so much that he couldn’t make up his mind:

    http://www.radioblogger.com/#001346

    Finally, going into the first ballot, 167 members of Congress had made their choices known to the public. Beauprez was just one of a handful who did not (if you don’t count his earlier flip-flop):

    http://hotlineblog.nationaljournal.com/archives/2006/02/the_final_list.html#more

    Bob is getting more ambitious, having it three ways is a difficult task even for him.

  4. Joel Hefley suddenly is a big time player again.
    Beauprez,Musgrave and Tancredo made the safe move and went with Blunt. Hefley quietly lined up votes for Boehner. Expect Hefley to be chairing a major Committee and dust off those Reelect Hefley signs.

  5. Again – anyone want to quote a source on the vote that includes our other GOP Reps?

    Hefley’s support of Boehner only gets him to “support the guy without immediate ties to DeLay”, not to “support the guy who isn’t corrupt”.  The vote was a joke on GOP ethics, with both major sides passing out cash from their PACs and complete with a vote miscount.

    Boehner’s as dirty (or dirtier) than Blunt, and more obvious about it too – in a taped cell call he was caught discussing with Gingrich and DeLay how to get around an Ethics Committee ruling against Gingrich.

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