Rep. Jim Jordan tried to set the tone for another day of voting on his House speaker candidacy with a Friday morning press conference. If that set the tone, he’s in trouble, because he left a Fox News host saying “I’m not sure what the purpose of that press conference was.”
The press conference was attempting to change the course of a week in which Jordan failed to muster the support needed in two speaker votes, followed by talk of a plan to temporarily expand Rep. Patrick McHenry’s powers as speaker pro tempore so the House could pass aid for Ukraine and Israel and keep the government open. That plan faced heavy opposition and collapsed (at least for the time being) Thursday afternoon. Thursday was punctuated with extended bouts of “what’s happening” and “will he or won’t he,” ending with the announcement of a Friday morning vote and Jordan’s press conference.
Jordan opened with an anecdote about how quickly the history of flight moved from the Wright brothers to breaking the sound barrier and then landing on the moon. If you thought that where he was going with that was “I can move quickly from failure to great success,” no, it was something about American greatness. Answering questions, Jordan repeatedly insisted that reporters had made his point: There is urgency to electing a speaker. In his view, that can only mean him.
Jordan was working hard to come across as mild-mannered and statesmanlike, but there was an implicit threat here. The House is paralyzed. It needs to be getting things done. Jordan is not getting out of the way, so the only possible forward movement comes through electing him.
It’s hard to see this message working on people who are already dealing with death threats for having voted against Jordan to begin with, and Politico’s Olivia Beavers tweeted that the opposition was not changing its mind, while CNN’s Manu Raju tweeted, “Jim Jordan’s opposition within his party is expected to grow despite his efforts to flip holdouts over the last couple days, according to multiple Republican members who oppose his nomination.”
The House is scheduled to meet at 10 AM ET for the next vote on Jordan, and he seems determined to push ahead with it. Beyond that … buckle your seatbelts for another day of Republicans in disarray. Daily Kos will once again be covering it live.
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