See below from FNC’s Chad Pergram
User’s Manual to Cantor and GOP leadership today
Per Pergram-Capitol Hill
The short answer is there is no manual for this scenario because it hasn’t happened before with a sitting leader losing his primary. So that calls into question what Cantor does next, whether he wants to pursue this, whether he still has the political wherewithal to hang around and lead the GOP in the House, whether he wants to, what the mood of the conference is.
We have zero guidance as to whether Cantor will be here today, about leadership meetings or a conference-wide meeting. We will be ready to go. But this is uncharted territory.
There is immediate concern from Republicans that a “leadership crisis” immediately begins to siphon every cubic centimeter of news oxygen from the GOP agenda between now and the fall. There are also immediate consequences for what this means for future primary fights out there…perhaps for Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who were thought to have established a bulwark against an attack…after being vulnerable…and if last night’s events mean they’re next.
All eyes will focus on if the most conservative bloc of Republicans attempts some sort of wholesale coup on the existing leadership. We know they don’t like Boehner. Sources close to Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise (R-LA) indicated he was now interested in becoming Whip. Note his shooting for a “lower” position in the hiearchy, with the idea that if there’s a wholesale change, he is sitting in a good position.
If Boehner goes, it’s a jailbreak around here to fill the void.
In one respect, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) either moves up in this…or gets his wings clipped.
That said, Cantor is Majority Leader through early January with leadership elections in mid-November. That means its his and there won’t be a leadership vote…until then, unless Cantor decides to step down from office or the Leader position early.
Further complicating this is a GOP communications’ directors retreat in Philadelphia which was scheduled to begin Thursday night. Cantor’s staff was heavily involved in that and will deliver seminars to the rank-and-file. One wonders if the event will go on or if people from rank-and-file offices would bother to listen to Cantor’s staff at this point…on ther agenda…in case they have lost all credibility.
Also watch for Democrats to immediately jump in and quickly try to “nationalize” this race and portray Republicans, across the board, as too extreme. That may move the needle a bit in terms of fundraising or in a race or two. But it’s way too early to understand if the Cantor loss is emblamatic of some “national” trend. That’s doubtful now as “all politics is local.” But if the party curbs harder to the right between now and fall, it will make it harder to cut a deal to keep the government open come October 1, the start of the new fiscal year. And we know what that means.
Senior Producer for Capitol Hill