Good luck getting out now.
House Speaker John Boehner described a nightmare
a few days ago.
"I had this terrible nightmare last night that I was trying to get out and I couldn't get out," the Ohio Republican joked, according to one of his longtime friends, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). "And a hand came reaching, pulling me."
It wasn't a nightmare. That hand belongs to Rep. Kevin McCarthy and he just pulled Boehner back in
by withdrawing from the speaker's race. What happens next is not entirely clear, as McCarthy was the likeliest to get the 218 votes needed to get the job, but he told reporters
following his bombshell that that wasn't good enough.
"I don't want to go to the floor and win with 220 votes," said McCarthy, who cast his decision as putting his conference first. "I think best think for our party is to win with 247 votes."
There's another bit of speculation
floating around that McCarthy's decision might have been a lot more personal and perhaps related to the letter Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) sent to leadership
warning that anyone who had a skeleton in the closet should maybe not be running.
As of now, the election has been postponed indefinitely. It seems pretty unlikely that anyone is going to 247 votes, particularly since Democrats are staying the hell out of this mess. Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he's still planning on running, but doesn't know if he's the right person. Spoiler alert for Chaffetz: you're not. One Republican, Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) says he could see a half dozen new candidates step up now. One person who won't be running: Rep. Paul Ryan, who moved very quickly to squelch any talk of his running for the job. He must think he still has a larger political future. God knows being speaker of this House will ruin that.
Meanwhile, there's some governing that should maybe get done. Like a debt ceiling hike that has to be accomplished by November 5. That might be something Boehner should get to work on, since he's pretty clearly going to be the guy responsible for getting it done.