Eric Cantor's defeat may have been a complete surprise, but this isn't: House Republicans have chosen Kevin McCarthy of California to be the new majority leader, reports the Hill. The 49-year-old takes over those duties on July 31. First elected to the House eight years ago, McCarthy is one of the so-called "Young Guns" behind his party's resurgence in recent years, notes the Contra Costa Times. He is known for his frequent references to the movie Fight Club to boost GOP morale, but Dana Milbank at the Washington Post writes that he has a trait far less endearing to Republicans: He often says "baffling" things in front of the cameras.
And not baffling in a political sense. Just plain baffling in general. Milbank ticks off scores of examples:
- "One of the most important I think that can happen today, Lynn Jenkins’s bill, an idea of fairness, the idea that when you look across the street from the Capitol, you see the Supreme Court, you see the statue sitting there, blinded in the process with the weights in-between.”
- “This is a great strength of a change making an equalizer inside for economy throughout.” (That was about charter schools.)
- “We’re in the fourth year of a recovery—a recovery of this administration that put in more than 2,600 new regulations in its fourth year, more than 60 that were major rulings, compounded on growth.”
It happens "almost like clockwork," writes Milbank, and the question is whether McCarthy can get things under control in his new higher-profile position, where public pronouncements will be plentiful.