Politics - News Analysis

McCarthy Is in TROUBLE as Speaker: ‘Mean Girl’ Elise Stefanik Is Looking Better to the GOP

Just an hour ago (on Wednesday night), Alaskan officials announced that Sarah Palin lost her race to Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola, meaning that the Republicans’ best hope right now is to have a four-vote majority, and even that is not guaranteed as three races remain uncalled in California. It is numerically possible that Republicans have a 219-217 majority. But four votes are functionally the same thing. McCarthy needs a near-unanimous vote… and it doesn’t appear that he has it.

That means that the factions will have to come up with some sort of compromise for whom they will vote unanimously. Right now, it looks like Elise Stefanik, the Republican from New York, might have the inside track. On MSNBC, former Republican strategist Tara Setmayer speculated that person could be Stefanik.

“Kevin McCarthy is a coward. They have been forthcoming about how he feels about Donald Trump in public. You heard what he said in private. When he was called out on it, he bowed out and kissed the ring of Donald Trump. He knew he needed the MAGA wing of the Republican Party to vote for him to become Speaker.

Having such a thin, small majority that they have right now … it doesn’t bode well for him. Because right now, there’s a five-count margin of Hell No to Kevin McCarthy. He can only lose about four of them because no Democrats are going to vote for him. So the dynamics here are concerning if anyone thinks that Kevin McCarthy is going to operate in good faith. He’s elevating Marjorie Taylor Greene, for goodness sake.”

Anchor Katie Phang jumped in.”Tara, I have to ask: if not McCarthy, who could be Speaker?”

Setmayer said that a year ago, she would have believed that it would be Jim Jordan, but she said that right now, Steve Scalise would give it a shot, but then it would fall to “MAGA mean girl Elise Stefanik” who only cares about power, that is literally all she’s about, and she might be far enough to the right to please the MAGAs and yet “appearances” matter, too – and moderates may like the idea of a Republican woman speaker.


[email protected], @JasonMiciak, with Nicole Hickman

meet the author

Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He now enjoys life as a single dad raising a ridiculously-loved young girl on the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He is very much the dreamy mystic, a day without learning is a day not lived. He is passionate about his flower pots and studies philosophical science, religion, and non-mathematical principles of theoretical physics. Dogs, pizza, and love are proof that God exists. "Above all else, love one another."


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