Rep. Jeb Hensarling, who for months has pushed back against pressure from House conservatives to seek a top leadership position in the next Congress, is reconsidering in light of Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning primary loss Tuesday.
“I am humbled by the many people who have approached me about serving our Republican Conference in a different capacity in the future,” Hensarling said in a statement provided to National Journal. “There are many ways to advance the causes of freedom and free enterprise, and I am prayerfully considering the best way I can serve in those efforts.”According to several senior Republicans, Hensarling, the Financial Services Committee chairman, watched his inbox and cell phone explode Tuesday night with messages encouraging him to run for either speaker or majority leader. Some of the members reaching out were reiterating their support, one source said, but there were plenty of newcomers as well. On Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas attempted to gather his state’s entire Republican delegation to rally them around Hensarling’s prospective candidacy, according to a GOP source.
Meanwhile, Hensarling, who served as Republican Conference chairman in the previous Congress, will meet today with some of his closest allies to game out the logistics of another leadership race. According to one source close to Hensarling, the Texan is being asked to move quickly and announce his campaign for majority leader, thus deterring other Republicans from entering the race and narrowing the campaign to a head-to-head matchup against Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, who is widely expected to seek the promotion. Hensarling’s supporters feel confident that he would defeat McCarthy.
Two of Hensarling’s strongest allies — Reps. Tom Price of Georgia and Jim Jordan of Ohio — are also in the mix for leadership positions. Both are former chairmen of the Republican Study Committee, and have good relationships with the conservative malcontents who have been pushing for a shakeup in the party’s leadership structure. (Another RSC chairman, Steve Scalise, is running for majority whip.)
Sources say Price, who tried and failed to win the position of conference chairman for the 113th Congress, would likely defer to Hensarling if the Texan decides to run. Price is set to succeed Paul Ryan as chairman of the House Budget Committee and seems unlikely to jeopardize that promotion with another leadership bid.
Jordan, meanwhile, has repeatedly and definitively denied any interest in a leadership post. According to a Republican source, Jordan was with a group of influential conservatives Tuesday night when word arrived of Cantor’s loss. Jordan was pushed to reconsider his opposition to a leadership bid, according to the source. Jordan would not shut the door entirely, but the Ohio Republican politely encouraged his company to coalesce around Hensarling.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."