| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Boehner likely to keep speakership

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 9:42 p.m.

WASHINGTON — When Republicans chose John Boehner as House speaker two years ago, the former plastics salesman who had served two decades in Congress finally had the job he wanted.

Trouble was, he couldn't have picked a worse time.

That reality played out again late New Year's Day, when Boehner suffered a stinging rebuke as his rambunctious Tea Party-inspired majority — more conservative and less willing to compromise than he is — abandoned their leader on the “fiscal cliff” deal.

Boehner voted yes, but the majority of his majority and even his top two lieutenants voted no. If conventional wisdom held, the speaker's tenure would be finished.

But Boehner is expected to be re-elected on Thursday by a still rebellious Republican majority. Like the political disarray within the Republican Party nationally, the GOP ranks in the House are similarly divided. The lack of a challenger with a clear line of ascent all but ensures he will keep his dream job.

Influential Republican activists agitate for change, and up-and-comers in Congress muse aloud about a run. Yet no one else in the House leadership, most notably the No. 2 Republican, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, has stepped up.

Would-be challengers are reluctant to aim for the speaker's job — and miss. Nor are they eager to take on a line of work that has proven extremely difficult.

“Who wants his job right now?” said strategist Ron Bonjean. “No one wants to take his place.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Benghazi panel dismissal dispute simmers as Clinton testimony nears
  2. Bergdahl lawyer says McCain misused clout
  3. Psychologists who devised CIA interrogation techniques sued
  4. Winter storm names afoot for 4th season
  5. House speaker post evolves into ‘enormous headache’
  6. Air traffic controller shortage called crisis
  7. Clinton email server was connected to Internet in ways that made it more vulnerable to hackers, documents show
  8. Propane, oil prices expected to be lower over winter
  9. Ex-coal CEO Blankenship talks safety in secretly recorded calls
  10. Dry prairie states contend with wildfires
  11. 19-year-old fatally beaten in church, brother severely injured