The Republican once known as "The Hammer" has offered some advice for John Boehner and the group of Republicans now poised to resume control in the House of Representatives: "Be more aggressive."
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is now standing trial on state corruption charges in Texas, and watched largely from the sidelines as his party stormed back into power this week. But in an August interview with ABC News he has some pointed advice for his fellow Republicans, whom he believed correctly were headed for victory in the mid-term elections.
"They need to be more aggressive at turning back the Obama agenda and repealing the agenda," DeLay said in the wide-ranging interview with ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross. The interview was conducted after the Justice Department informed DeLay it would be dropping its six-year probe into his conduct in office.
"In fact," DeLay suggest, "what I would do differently than we did when we took over in 1995 is I would have at least one week a month as a repeal session. So members could come in and repeal government -- repeal the bad things in government, and spend all week repealing bad laws."
It's too soon to know if Republicans who are organizing to retake control of the House in January will heed DeLay's advice. While DeLay helped oversee the party's iron grip on the legislative agenda during much of the last decade, he also became associated with the lobbying scandals that helped bring about the party's downfall.
DeLay Trial In Texas
This week's trial in Texas is something of a postscript to that era, with DeLay telling ABC News in August that he was confident his name would be cleared at the conclusion of the proceedings.
"We raised legal money, used it legally, and a rogue district attorney here in Texas shopped six grand juries" before gaining an indictment, DeLay said. "All [Democrats] wanted was the indictment and that's how they got rid of me."
DeLay has been doing consulting work since leaving office, in addition to a memorable turn as a contestant on the ABC television program "Dancing With The Stars." Back in August, he told ABC News he would not rule out a return to public office one day, saying he did not "know what the Lord has in store for me."
This week, after the elections confirmed the Republicans had indeed retaken control of the House, he seemed to have more concrete ideas about a possible comeback. Delay told the Austin American-Statesman Wednesday that he "would have liked to have been there and been a leader in this election."
"I haven't left the scene," he said.
He expressed hopes for a larger role in the future. "Once I get this trial off my back, I'll be more involved," he told the newspaper.
How eager the new majority will be for Delay's involvement remains an open question. Eric Cantor of Virginia is the leading candidate to assume DeLay's old leadership post. In a letter to his colleagues shortly after the election, he declared: "We must govern differently. Not just differently from the Democrats, but differently from a previous majority."