Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Race is On

US Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) is out to an early lead over US Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) to replace Tom Delay as majority leader. Both have ties to the Republican establishment in Washington--the one many reform-minded Republicans are trying to distance themselves from before the '06 elections--but it seems like Blunt's ties are a little tighter.

Overall, Blunt looks like an extension of Delay in terms of ideology (and I can only assume tactics), while Boehner appears to be more of a traditional fiscal conservative (at least based upon some of his votes--like the one against the 2005 highway reauthorization bill). I would think if the Republicans are looking for a cleaner break from the Delay machine, Boehner would be the person to pick...although it's going to take more than a new majority leader to fix the problems that face conservatives heading into this November.

With the time that is being required in this race so far (each candidate's staff is putting in 18 hour days), it doesn't look like too many more contenders are going to join the race. The election is scheduled for Feb. 2, but it may be pushed up before Bush's State of the Union address that's set for Jan. 31.

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