Flow Chart of Four Possible Outcomes for the House Speakers Race
Prior to the previous Speaker’s race, I crafted a precise flow chart detailing McCarthy’s Speaker election trajectory.
This current Speaker election is unparalleled.
History and political norms don’t offer any guideposts.
Speaker McCarthy is the first-ever to be ousted mid-term as Speaker.
Most Democratic and GOP insiders, congressional staffers, and legislators I’ve spoken to dismiss the prospect of a bipartisan Speaker—a leader elected with votes from both sides of the aisle.
AOC has hinted at a Coalition Speakership, which would be similar to a Minority Government in parliamentary systems like Canada or the UK.
I’ve always maintained that AOC is the most adept politician in the House or Senate. Even as a rookie, she out-fund-raised Pelosi. Her support for Bernie Sanders in Iowa bolstered his campaign, but once she withdrew, his momentum waned—a first for a freshman Member of Congress.
The GOP’s general sentiment regarding a bipartisan Speaker is skepticism: “A Republican voting for a Democratic Speaker would be political suicide.”
Yet, some in the GOP might have deeper motives beyond mere political preservation.
For Democrats, the consensus is: “The cost for a Democrat supporting a Republican Speaker today is steep, and it’s only going to skyrocket.”
Still, I’d like to remind everyone: post-McCarthy’s election as Speaker, I’ve been asserting that his tenure would be brief, culminating shortly after the debt limit vote. Instead, it was the Debt Limit and the CR that triggered his downfall.
Many who are skeptical about a bipartisan Speaker also couldn’t fathom McCarthy being removed. Their disbelief persisted even post-event.
It wasn’t an anticipated outcome.
There’s little doubt that this Speaker’s election will trigger significant rule changes concerning the motion to vacate the chair. McCarthy’s unprecedented loss will likely be viewed as a historical outlier, indicative of a tumultuous period.
The infographic below illustrates my projections for the four possible outcomes of the GOP House Speaker’s race.
In essence, the more the GOP factions remain at loggerheads or the longer the Speaker election drags on, the likelihood of a bipartisan Speaker increases.
Should we have a bipartisan Speaker, my bet is on a Republican.
A GOP operative once countered, essentially asking, “Why the need for a new Speaker? We already have one in place.”
Indeed, there’s the unprecedented Speaker Pro Tem, a role which, by its very name, is supposed to be a temporary position.