Or "Eddie Haskell out, Eddie Munster in". Except that Ryan won't take the job:
No other obvious candidates are rising to the fore. So it looks like our old friend John Boehner is going to be staying on for a while.
Why did McCarthy suddenly back out? Nobody seems to know yet. There was some thought that it had something to do with a general letter to the House GOP caucus from Representative Walter Jones (R-NC3):
North Carolina-3 Representative Walter Jones (R) sent a letter to the #4 House Republican saying any candidate for leadership who has committed any “misdeeds” since joining Congress should “withdraw” from the contest.
Jones, a twenty-year veteran of Washington, is referring to marital infidelity, and made reference to former Representative Bob Livingston (R-LA1), who stepped down due to an affair before he was slated to become Speaker, and Newt Gingrich.
“With all the voter distrust of Washington felt around the country, I am asking that any candidate for Speaker of the House, majority leader, and majority whip withdraw himself from the leadership election if there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference and the House of Representatives if they become public,” Jones wrote in a letter to Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA5).
Does this mean McCarthy has been dipping his wick in the wrong wax trays? FWIW, McCarthy denies it, which would be a pretty stupid thing to do if he has "grazed in other pastures," since he does, after all, still have the #2 job in the House majority leadership and would be even more likely to melt down with the media frenzy his withdrawal has generated. But then again, as recently as yesterday, McCarthy expressed confidence that he could get to 218 votes on the first ballot, too.
Maybe he was blowing smoke, as I discussed yesterday. Or maybe he got cold feet because that confidence was based, as I also discussed yesterday, on Democrats putting him over the top. Given the PR obtusity he displayed last week by stepping on that Hillary/Benghazi Committee rake, maybe it just now dawned on him that owing his Speakership to Nancy Pelosi might not be the best optics with which to begin his Big Gavel wielding.
Well, my Tea Party friends, as Bugs Bunny once asked Yosemite Sam, "How now, brown cow"?
Exit prediction: I got Speaker McCarthy wrong; how about John Boehner withdrawing his resignation? That sound like a plan?
UPDATE: How about Mitt Romney for Speaker? Or as the only man who might be able to persuade Paul Ryan to change his mind? Heck, Trey Gowdy is behind him - what more persuasion should Tea Partiers need?
UPDATE II: If all else fails, they can always bring back Mr. Newt.