Kevin McCarthy, who up until a few hours ago had been the clear frontrunner, has pulled out of the race to replace the retiring John Boehner as Speaker of the House. And now, Congress has descended into hell’s most tearful, mind-numbing pit of fiery chaos. [Updated]
Pandemonium in the Longworth Bldg as McCarthy withdraws from speaker race, GOP members stunned pic.twitter.com/X7mm6nZpJi— John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico) October 8, 2015
McCarthy’s announcement was unexpected, certainly, and leaves the House majority in a bit of a bind, but Republicans in Congress might be taking the news harder than grown, ostensibly functional adults ought to:
Total chaos. No clear front-runner for gavel. Mbrs stunned, reacting. McCarthy allies trying to draft center-rght cand as Right makes move.— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 8, 2015
"There was shock. People were crying." Tom Rooney on @GOPLeader blockbuster— John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico) October 8, 2015
Rep. Peter King tells me that members are crying in cloakroom, unable to handle the unrest and confusion. "A banana republic," he says.— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 8, 2015
Weeping in the cloakroom! And speaking of “unrest and confusion”:
Acoustics were bad in room where GOP conf met, some members didn't know what had just happened when McCarthy quit - http://t.co/ZpKsI1AC0f— Reid Wilson (@ConsultReid) October 8, 2015
Could anything make this situation somehow more surreal?
Some of the liberal delegates, for their part, are loving it.
Made myself a smoothie in my office & watching news about GOP mtg to elect next Speaker not going smoothly pic.twitter.com/rlSd3AJIn6— Charles Rangel (@cbrangel) October 8, 2015
Did Boehner, who has already announced that he will remain speaker until his replacement is decided on, at some point cross Ikto’mi the trickster spider? Will President Trump also declare himself speaker? Is Washington, D.C. going to burn by nightfall? Is that an unpeeled banana in Charles Rangel’s smoothie? We’ll continue updating as we find out.
congress pic.twitter.com/UuOJRlugCu— christopher hooks (@cd_hooks) October 8, 2015
Update 2:58 p.m.:
A novel concept from President Trump!
Great, Kevin McCarthy drops out of SPEAKER race. We need a really smart and really tough person to take over this very important job!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2015
Update 3:09 p.m.:
Well, at least he’s honest.
mccarthy in phone intv: asked if house is governable? "I dont know. sometimes you need to hit rock bottom"— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) October 8, 2015
Update: 3:18 p.m.:
And here comes with the best burn of the day:
Pelosi on speaker race: "I’m sure they’ll find somebody who is capable of accepting the honor."— Lauren French (@laurennfrench) October 8, 2015
Update 3:38 p.m.:
Trump on CNN: “I go home and I say, 'I’m going to watch myself on television.’ Who wouldn’t do it?”— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) October 8, 2015
Update 4:06 p.m.:
Now, it looks like Boehner is essentially begging Paul Ryan to take his place.
BREAKING: BOEHNER IS PERSONALLY ASKING RYAN TO STEP UP AND BE SPEAKER, have spoken twice today by phone...— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 8, 2015
Boehner has told Ryan that he is the only person who can unite GOP at this crisis moment. Ryan undecided but listening, per sources— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 8, 2015
And if Ryan has even a modicum of common sense, he will continue to say no.
Update 4:58 p.m.:
Sure! All of the above. Why not.
Update 10/9 1:39 p.m.:
Paul Ryan cracks under the pressure, is late for his shift at Hollister:
HES GONE. Paul Ryan just escaped the house chamber from the side door. Joe Crowley calls his name as he leaves.— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 9, 2015