Novak: Boehner and Blunt lead

According to Robert Novak, both John Boehner and Roy Blunt are likely to prevail in their bids to stay in House leadership:

WASHINGTON — The depleted House Republican caucus, a minority in the next Congress, convenes at 8 a.m. in the Capitol Friday on the brink of committing an act of supreme irrationality. The House members blame their leadership for tasting the bitter dregs of defeat. Yet, the consensus so far is that, in secret ballot, they will re-elect some or all of those leaders.

In private conversation, Republican members of Congress blame Majority Leader John Boehner and Majority Whip Roy Blunt in no small part for their midterm election debacle. Yet, either Boehner, Blunt or both are expected to be returned to their leadership posts Friday. For good reason, the GOP often is called “the stupid party.”

While an unpopular Iraq war and an unpopular George W. Bush were primary causes of last Tuesday’s Republican rout, massive public disapproval of the Republican-controlled Congress significantly contributed. While abandoning conservative principles, the spendthrift House had become chained to special corporate interests represented by K Street lobbyists.

More:

Rep. Mike Pence, the current chairman of the RSC and a leader of reform, is an underdog candidate opposing Boehner. Rep. John Shadegg, Pence’s predecessor at the RSC who finished third in the race for leader last February, is running uphill against Blunt for whip on a reform platform. The conventional wisdom on the Hill is that, at best, only one of them can win because the Republicans would not dare elect two conservatives to the two top House leadership positions.

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