Cantor could take #2 GOP slot in House
After suffering its worst losses in 12 years in this year's elections, the Republican party has been doing plenty of cleaning house, with Bob Gates nominated to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense and Senator Mel Martinez (FL) taking over for Ken Mehlman as head of the Republican National Committee. But sometimes, a loss can be a win, and for Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Richmond) dissatisfaction with the old guard might mean a promotion.
The congressman from Virginia's seventh district (which includes Madison, Orange, and Louisa Counties) currently serves as the GOP's Deputy House Whip, making him the third-ranking man in what will soon be that chamber's minority party. But given some Republicans' desire for change, and given the ties current party whip Roy Blunt (OH) has to recently ousted majority leader Tom DeLay, some congressmen have undertaken a "draft Cantor" movement within the party ranks, according to the Washington Times. Cantor has said that, out of loyalty to Blunt, he won't run for the powerful position, according to Rep. Paul Ryan (WI). "Most people would say Eric would win, but he doesn't want to win that way," Ryan says.