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A Tea Party Caucus?

October 15, 2010

Tea Party candidates running on platforms to cut spending, reform the Republican Party, and stay true to the Constitution are faring well in the polls. So well, in fact, the New York Times believes that after November the group of winning candidates could form a caucus influential enough to make some noise in the halls of the Capitol.

“With a little more than two weeks till Election Day, 33 Tea Party-backed candidates are in tossup races or running in House districts that are solidly or leaning Republican, and 8 stand a good or better chance of winning Senate seats,” the Times reports.

That, the paper says, could mean establishment Republicans will be held accountable to fulfill their promises of cutting taxes, curbing spending, and repealing or de-funding Obamacare.

And while not all Tea Party candidates will claim victory, the idea that a movement with no leader, no official platform, and a lot of common-sense energy can go from whim to win in November has many excited.

The expected wins for Republicans in general means the House will be looking for a new Speaker. By most people’s accounts, that will be Ohio Republican John Boehner.

Should that be true, Boehner will have the task of uniting establishment Republicans, “young guns,” and Tea Party candidates. But the always-tan, raspy-voiced businessman seems groomed for the task. He knows how to fight and has already gained the attention of the White House: a Times profile calls him “Mr. Obama’s Gucci punching bag.” But drawing the ire of the president might mean he’s doing things right.

“He’s been conservative, he’s been consistent and he’s been tan,” said Bob Hagan to the Times. Hagan, an Ohio state representative, served with Boehner in the Statehouse in the late 1980s.

That consistency gives him universal appeal. Which is why Boehner seems to embody the can-do attitude of all the Congressional Republicans, not matter the sect. And that, among other things, could propel him to the Speaker’s chair. “We are going to smile, we are going to work hard,” Boehner told the Times. “And earn our way back.”

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