Tags: John | Boehner | GOP

John Boehner Maintains Hold on GOP Leadership

Wednesday, 21 May 2008 03:52 PM

By Rick Pedraza

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Despite the devastating impact of the special elections results last week in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Illinois, GOP members said there are no plans to oust House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, from his post.

“He’s not going anywhere,” one Republican member reportedly said at a behind closed doors House Republican meeting on Tuesday.

Conference members were “harsh” toward Boehner and the House GOP agenda, but stopped short of calling for leadership changes, according to one source.

"I've been a reformer since the day I got to Congress,” Boehner said last week in an appearance on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

“I know what needs to be done to deliver real reform. My job is to help bring all the members together and lead them, and show the American people that we can deliver the kind of changes that they deserve," he said.

Boehner and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole are unveiling a series of changes aimed at quelling criticism and positioning their party for November’s elections.

Under the new plan, Boehner and Cole will give more power to an advisory committee that will meet weekly with NRCC staffers to monitor operations and help coordinate fundraising and other campaign activities.

Cole is expected to add veteran Republican political operative Ed Brookover to his staff as a consultant and liaison with lawmakers. Brookover, who served as the NRCC’s executive director from 1995 to 1999, has close ties to Boehner.

The moves represent an easing of tension between Cole and Boehner. The two have been known to disagree over campaign strategy and the way the committee has been run.

Policy Chairman Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., said Boehner’s ability to include members and allow them to speak their minds is what makes him a strong and able leader: “It’s not a dictatorial strength, which is what people were used to from [former Republican Majority Leader] Tom DeLay and Nancy Pelosi now.”

Boehner and his colleagues in the leadership began laying out principles for their own policy platform last week. But that rebranding push, and its accompanying policy component, has been marred by infighting among House Republicans as members argue over its specifics.

"As I've said before, this is a change election,” Boehner said, “and if we want Americans to vote for us, we have to convince them that we can fix Washington. Our presidential nominee, Senator McCain, is an agent of change. Candidates who hope to succeed must show that they're willing and able to join McCain in a leading movement for reform."

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