Fantasy Congress: Minority Faces Potential Revolt Next Cycle

VIDEO: Politicos Marty Kady on the impact of ethics investigations in Congress.
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With less than two weeks until the congressional midterm elections and speculation running rampant over Capitol Hill as to what the House leadership might look like in the 112th Congress, sources said that the party that finds itself in the minority could suffer a revolution among its leadership ranks.

Although most congressional sources are reluctant to discuss hypothetical leadership changes that rely on theoretical scenarios, the consensus is that there are sure to be some promotions and changes to the leadership of both parties in the next Congress.

Sources indicated the scramble for support for those posts will be fervent immediately following the election Nov. 2 and will intensify when lawmakers return to the Capitol for a lame duck session of Congress Nov. 15.

Leadership elections, sources from both parties say, are built on friendships and personal relationships that can go back many years when determining support for leadership posts. Aides on Capitol Hill joked that the post-election leadership scramble is much like a high school election for student government.

Multiple senior Republican aides, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, offered a look ahead at what the GOP's House leadership might look like if Republicans are able to win back control of the House Nov. 2.

House Minority Leader John Boehner is the clear frontrunner for speaker if Republicans take over the House. Boehner has spoken openly with reporters about what the House might look like under a Speaker Boehner, and he would not likely be challenged for the speaker's job.

Boehner has paid his dues and has his finger on the pulse of the GOP conference, more so than any other members, Republican aides said. The 10-term Republican always is working behind the scenes and best understands what members of the conference want and how to provide that for them.

Boehner also has hit the stump hard for Republican candidates, making more than 160 campaign stops and raising more than $44 million for candidates and party committees. In the past week, Boehner has visited districts for seven different House races across the south in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Should Republicans find themselves in the majority, current House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, a Republican from Richmond, Va., also likely would hold on as the GOP's second-ranking House Republican, ascending to majority leader.

But after Cantor, it is not as clear how the rest of a GOP House leadership could play out. Sources indicated that Rep. Kevin McCarthy, currently the fourth-ranking House Republican, could jump GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence, R-Ind., for the House majority whip's job.

McCarthy, R-Calif., a founding member of the GOP's Young Guns, is seen as a rising star in the party and played a central role in shaping the GOP's proposed legislative agenda, "A Pledge to America." If Republicans do well in the election, he likely will be credited as the key strategist behind the takeover.

If he wants it, Pence could hold on as conference chairman, but he is thought to be contemplating a run for governor of Indiana or a challenge to President Obama for the White House in 2012. Sources pointed to recent visits to Iowa, an early primary-season caucus state, and some prominent family values speeches as possible hints on Pence's future.

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