WASHINGTON – Self-proclaimed tea party leader Michele Bachmann's bid for a top Republican post in the House received a cool reaction Thursday from Speaker-to-be John Boehner, an early test of how GOP leaders will treat the antiestablishment movement's winners in Tuesday's elections."Constitutional conservatives deserve a loud and clear voice in leadership!" Bachmann, R-Minn., who founded the Tea Party Caucus, said in a one-paragraph Facebook announcement that she is running for GOP conference chairman.House Republican leaders don't disagree. But that doesn't mean they want the hyperbolic Bachmann being a spokeswoman for the new majority during the 2012 election cycle.Boehner, aware of the role tea partiers played in making him the next House speaker, is endorsing no one. His lieutenants are lining up behind Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, leaving no doubt that Hensarling — and not Bachmann — is the leadership favorite to chair the GOP conference."There are few who have done as much for the Republican team as Jeb," the expected House majority leader, Eric Cantor of Virginia, said in a statement.Departing conference chairman Mike Pence of Indiana also endorsed Hensarling, calling him "one of the most principled conservatives in Congress.""Jeb Hensarling demonstrated his willingness to challenge Republican leaders and members to embrace a vision for limited government, fiscal discipline and traditional moral values," said Pence, who is stepping down to pursue a possible gubernatorial or presidential bid in 2012.Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said Bachmann is a talented communicator who would represent the views of the more than 30 newly elected tea partiers who helped return the House majority to Republicans."The new majority-makers need to have a voice inside the leadership team," King said. Hensarling is said to have lined up dozens of endorsements for the leadership elections scheduled to take place after Congress returns Nov. 15.
Friday, November 5, 2010
From Laurie Kellman of The Associated Press on Nov. 5: