Nine Republican members of the House of Representatives will go before their party colleagues behind closed doors tonight to make their case to be the party’s nominee for speaker. Then they will vote on Tuesday for whom to nominate to be the next sacrificial lamb publicly humiliated when and if they go to the floor of the House for the vote. As far as I know, no decision has been made as to how the selection will be made. Since the McCarthy ouster debacle, there seem to be no rules governing how the party works so we can expect yet another free-for-all.
One option is, after all nine have made their case, to have a preferential ballot where each member ranks their choices one through nine. But this may be too complicated for some of them who are not exactly Einsteins when it comes to reasoning (I am looking at you, Louis Gohmert) and so they could have eight rounds of voting where after each round, the lowest vote-getter is eliminated. Or they could simply take the top vote-getter after the first round as their nominee. These would be a rational ways of going about things so we can be fairly sure that it will not happen and instead there will be chaos. The race has already degenerated into flame wars and obscene tweets.
But in reality the method used is immaterial. The key question is whether whoever comes out on top by whatever process will get 217 votes in the House floor vote. One proposal circulating is to have all the members pledge, before the vote tonight, to vote for the nominee selected in the House. But this is not a party that likes that kind of prior commitment, especially since serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT) has set the standard and said that he will not pledge to support whoever becomes the Republican presidential candidate. The party insurgents who brought McCarthy down are not likely to give away their power now.
It is of little use comparing the candidates but for those who are interested, here is how they voted on the 2020 election denial attempt. Under normal circumstances, being the most senior member after McCarthy and Scalise, majority whip Tom Emmer would be the nominee but he did not object to the 2020 certification of results which means that SSAT does not like him. McCarthy has said he supports Emmer but he also said that he supported Scalise and Jordan while undermining them and it is clear that he is still angling to get his job back. SSAT is not endorsing anyone this time around, like he did with McCarthy and Jordan, no doubt to avoid another embarrassing loss of his chosen candidate.
It is too bad that this evening meeting will be behind closed doors. It would have been fun to watch an entirely substance-free, personality-driven, conflict of egos and ambitions.