John Boehner, you’re the next speaker of the House: Now what? The Republican leader faces no shortage of seemingly impossible challenges, notes Jennifer Steinhauer in the New York Times. The voters who helped his party to triumph yesterday know what they don’t want—more of the same—but aren’t as sure what they do want. And Boehner himself has some lofty, contradictory goals, for example: Reduce the national debt while reversing cuts to Medicare and extending tax cuts?
In his efforts to prove Republicans can fix Washington, he also must work with a number of upstart politicians and Tea Partiers. Many of his party’s goals (ending government control of Fannie and Freddie, for instance) will be difficult if not impossible to accomplish in the short term. But he does have one advantage compared with 1994, when Republicans took over the House then got caught up in internal feuds: Boehner has a good relationship with Senate counterpart Mitch McConnell.