After weeks of speculation that John Boehner won't run for a third term as House speaker following the November elections, the betting on Capitol Hill is now that the Ohio Republican will seek to retain the speaker's gavel after all.
One source close to Boehner who requested anonymity told Newsmax, "I'm told that Boehner gave an unequivocal commitment to remain where he is. So the races are for No. 2 and No. 3 now, for the next two years." The source referred to the current contests for majority leader and majority whip, to be decided by House Republicans June 19.
It is precisely this upheaval in the House Republican hierarchy, sparked by the resignation Wednesday of Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia as majority leader, that has reportedly convinced Boehner to run again for speaker, the same source said.
"I think he will run again," said veteran GOP consultant Chip Saltsman, former top aide to Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee and manager of Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign, "because he knows how important the continuity of the [Republican] conference is, as the new leadership team has its chance."
Boehner is also reportedly now convinced Republicans will win a majority in the Senate this year, permitting Congress to pass legislation that the President Barack Obama must veto.
With the Republican-run House often passing measures only to have them buried in the other chamber by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Boehner and his colleagues have been made to appear in the press as trying to govern with one half of one of the three branches of government.
On Tuesday morning, two sophomore House Republicans considered tea party allies were asked at the regular Conversations with Conservatives forum on Capitol Hill if they thought Boehner would run again as speaker. Both Reps. Raul Labrador of Idaho and Matt Salmon of Arizona replied without hesitation that they "don’t think he runs" again for speaker.
There were no gasps of surprise or even any follow-up questions from the audience as Labrador and Salmon were vocalizing the prevalent feeling among most Republicans on Capitol Hill.
That evening, Eric Cantor lost renomination in results that were reported in such distant outlets as the Financial Times and France’s venerable Le Figaro. Within 48 hours, the feeling on Capitol Hill about Boehner’s plans changed significantly, with signs strong he wants to remain speaker after November.
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