AIG Bonus Vote Splits GOP Honchos

Insider Boehner and publicity-hungry Cantor go opposite ways
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Mar 20, 2009 11:25 AM CDT
House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, right, and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., left, listen as House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, of Va., speaks during a news conference, Jan. 21, 2009.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The vote to tax AIG bonuses split the House’s top two Republicans, and illustrates the differences in their strategies, reports Politico. Minority Leader John Boehner voted against, calling it “a bad bill with bad consequences.” Boehner’s No. 2, rising star Eric Cantor, supported it, calling it a “messy situation.” The two normally work together closely, but asked how Cantor would vote, Boehner said, “I haven’t talked to him about it.”

The divergence reveals the different styles of the two leaders. Boehner is a consummate insider, maintaining his grip on power by fundraising and positioning allies in key places. Cantor, on the other hand, is an outside guy, constantly showing up on TV and sending out press releases. With his public profile, he’s less insulated from populist rage at the bonuses.