Challenge. Change. Podcast
Political science Professor Robert Boatright has watched Speaker of the House become a career-ending position. This was the case for Paul Ryan and John Boehner, former Republican speakers who became disenfranchised and then left Congress. The pattern repeated itself this month as Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, was ousted. Rep. Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, was elected House speaker on Oct. 25.
“It’s unclear why an ambitious Republican would want to be Speaker of the House anymore given what you can anticipate,” says Boatright.
The process of becoming speaker has become unprecedentedly public, the professor says. When Rep. Jim Jordan was vying for the position earlier this month, he took his case to the public. Social media figures like Steve Bannon used their platforms to mobilize voters to pressure moderate Republicans to select Jordan.
“The idea that the public would play a role in figuring out who they thought was a good candidate and go after people who didn’t agree with them is really pretty remarkable,” says Boatright.