The Final 4: Boehner's Backscratching Boys Club
As John Boehner huffs and puffs and grandstands about all the compromise he expects from Obama, it's clear the next Speaker of the House will have to do quite a bit of maneuvering himself. Wedged between infighting Republicans and a demanding Tea Party, he's already got a handful of skeptical reps and players he's set up to appease in his quest for GOP power. Ironically, he must compromise because most of them are worried about his potential for compromise. These are weird times! The shortlist:
1. Ohio's Jim Jordan. The powerful Republican Study Committee's super conservative agenda-pushers don't quite jibe with its perception of Boehner's dealmaking capacities. But he's also spent two years mentoring Jordan, the Committee's Budget and Spending Taskforce Chairman. If Boehner places him at the top as expected, he's putting a buffer between his power and The RSC.
2. Texas' Jeb Hensarling. While Tea Party wildcard Michele Bachmann is looking to replace Mike Pence as GOP Conference Chair, it makes more strategic sense for Boehner if Hensarling nabs it, greasing the wheels of what could be an otherwise rocky releationship.
3. Virginia's Eric Cantor. The new House Majority Leader Cantor has occasionally butted heads with Boehner, but after their collective victories and with the Dems in their crosshairs, they could become a united front. Cantor also endorsed Hensarling for Conference Chair.
4. Chief of Staff Barry Jackson. Former adviser to W, studied under Karl Rove... he made Boehner's power strategy, and is just as shady as his mentor. He built the platform for Boehner to take over as Majority Leader, so he'll have to keep him happy.
But there's more! Boehner's also got an adoring collection of white male cronies waiting to assume power alongside their leader. For the full story, head to Politico.