Meet the new Speaker, same as the old Speaker

As expected, John Boehner was reelected Speaker of the House. The only suspense was over the exact number of Republicans who would defect (two years ago, he won every Republican vote). In the end, 12 Republicans voted against Boehner, voted present, or abstained.

I’m sure that many more harbor doubts about the quality of Boehner’s leadership. However, the Republican caucus must have believed overwhelmingly that the best course is to put the “fiscal cliff” struggle behind it, rather than to follow up with a public internecine battle.

There was also the question of whom to support as an alternative to Boehner. Apparently, no one stepped up. The anti-Boehner votes went to Majority Leader Eric Cantor (who didn’t seek the job), Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, Allen West (who was defeated for reelection), and David Walker (former U.S. Comptroller General),

Politico provides this rather disparaging account of the “outlier” Republicans who rejected Boehner.

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