Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will probably get the majority vote to be the new speaker of the House in Thursday's secret ballot in the Republican conference. But the secret ballot isn't binding, and the real election isn't until October 29, so McCarthy has to work hard to head off a challenge from hardliner Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). He started Tuesday night by meeting with the plethora of conservative groups
, promising them that he'd bring real change.
"I'm not John Boehner. I'm going to run things differently. I'm my own man," McCarthy said, according to one conservative in the room, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas).
McCarthy is expected to easily win the nomination for Speaker when House Republicans hold a closed-door vote Thursday. But he's having a tougher time winning over some of the conservative hard-liners he needs to secure 218 votes in a roll call of the entire House set for Oct. 29.
McCarthy made his pitch to a joint meeting of the House Freedom Caucus, Liberty Caucus, Tea Party Caucus and the Conservative Opportunity Society, then snuck out a side door, avoiding a crush of TV cameras and reporters.
The big beef these guys have with Boehner? He didn't cater enough to them
, even after he let them shut down the government in 2013. Even after he's allowed them to essentially control almost everything that's come to the House floor. As usual, they are declaring themselves victims of Boehner's "top-down" system.
"What are we going to do to change the structure, instead of being sort of a top-down style to be a bottoms-up, where the ideas germinate up from below," Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), who leads the conservative coalition of lawmakers called the Republican Study Committee, said Tuesday evening.
"I don't know that any of [the candidates] can get to 218 without really addressing some of the rules and some of the structure," said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who serves on the board of directors of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. "If there is anything that has to be addressed, it's really looking at the way the Hill does its business."
It's got to be just a little bit confusing for any would-be House Leader, since he has the House Freedom Caucus, Liberty Caucus, Tea Party Caucus, the Conservative Opportunity Society, and the Republican Study Committee to answer to. Even more confusing when you consider how much they've been able to extract from Boehner already—what more can a would-be leader promise them? Besides a willingness to destroy the global economy
, that is.
Head below the fold, just for fun, for a reenactment of a meeting of the conservative groups.