October 13, 2015

ROLL CALL: Next Speaker Unlikely to Continue Long String of Leadership Insiders.

There may be plenty of good reasons why Republicans are now seeking a “fresh face” as House speaker. But picking from outside the existing chain of command could also create some big challenges.

It also would be highly unusual. Only once in the last century has someone been chosen to preside over the House without ever occupying a lower rung in the leadership. The past 16 speakers, in other words, have won with serious insider credentials — even when political common sense has pointed to the selection of a certified outsider.

It’s very possible that precedent will be skirted this fall. Most of the members now in the roiling mix for speaker have made their reputations as policy experts, ideological warriors or marketing experts for the GOP — but have never been called on to practice those talents using the special tool kit of political power, staff resources and outside influence that comes along with a seat at the top table.

Sounds terrible.

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