Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Why Boehner won...

In the days following Boehner's victory as Majority Leader we have been evaluating the reasons for what some in the media called a 'surprise' victory.

On election day:
-Blunt's nominating speeches were reported to be somewhat uninspiring.
-Shadegg's nominating speeches seemed to emphasize 'change' which could be construed as 'not Blunt' and were a bit more fiery.
-Boehner had strong nominating speeches particularly from Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas who is none as a powerful player. He was previously uncommitted as were most of his committee members.
-Following the first ballot most of Shadeggs votes (though not all) went to Boehner.
-Some of Blunt's supporters were committed only for the first ballot but felt free to vote for whoever on the second.

Leading up to the election:
-Shadegg's entry focused the race around reform/change.
-Two-way races favor incumbents. Forcing a second ballot favored the challenger.
-Shadegg's entry was too late. The momentum he generated was shifted to Boehner.
-The media was largely unfavorable to Blunt.
-Conservative pundits, bloggers, and columnists generally supported Shadegg or Boehner.
-Some viewed Blunt's tactics as a bit heavy-handed.
-Boehner showed his ability to work with Democrats by passing Pension reform while Republican leadership thought it was not possible in the last session.
-Boehner had forged strong relationships with fellow committee chairs.
-Blunt was viewed as a Delay protege


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