The Hill has an interesting piece on the House GOP leadership race. They report that Boehner is confident he has the votes to be Minority Leader, but that there's a lot of worry among Blunt supporters that he does not have the votes to take the Minority Whip spot. Those supporters think there's discomfort among Republicans at the idea of Shadegg in the spot, and that Cantor would be a strong contender:
With Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) all but assured of retaining the title of leader when Republicans assume the minority next year, suspense hangs on the race for whip between Reps. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the current occupant, and John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), a darling of the conservative media.
Blunt has told supporters in private that he has the votes to preserve his leadership post when members cast their secret ballots this Friday, members and an aide said yesterday, but some of those same supporters question the strength of his backing. Blunt made a similar prediction before losing to Boehner in their majority leader race earlier this year...
Concerned that Shadegg would fumble some of the procedural responsibilities required of a whip, these Blunt supporters are weighing their options to elevate Cantor to the No. 2 slot in the Republican hierarchy.
“A sizable percentage of Blunt supporters are supporting Blunt because of Cantor,” the same lawmaker said...
If Boehner wins the Minority Leader spot, Blunt doesn't have a chance. Regardless of concerns about Shadegg's ability to handle procedural responsibilities, there is no way the Republican conference will continue with the same leadership from the last Congress.
Cantor has a great deal of respect across the conference, and would be a strong contender against Shadegg.
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