Blunt Readies His Exit

Posted November 5, 2008 at 5:49pm

The jockeying for House GOP leadership positions got fully under way Wednesday night, with several GOP sources confirming late in the day that Minority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) is planning to step down from his No. 2 post to clear a path for longtime ally Chief Deputy Whip Eric Cantor (Va.).

“I can tell you at this point, [Cantor] is the only person in the race for Whip,” one knowledgeable GOP source said.

Asked if that means Blunt isn’t planning to seek another term as Whip, the source replied, “Well yeah, at this point.”

Blunt’s office confirmed that he and Cantor spoke Wednesday morning, but declined to comment on the nature of their conversation.

An exit by Blunt would mark the latest in a string of changes in the House GOP lineup in the wake of Tuesday’s election results. Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.) also has said he will step aside.

Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) has said he is running for another term, as has National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.). Cole is certain to face a challenge from Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), while it remains unclear whether an insurgent GOP Member will make a run at Boehner.