Dartmouth Professor Predicts Tough Going for Speaker McCarthy

Dartmouth Professor Predicts Tough Going for Speaker McCarthy

“Extraordinary theater.” This is how Ken Manning, professor of political science at UMass Dartmouth, describes what happened in the US House of Representatives in Washington last week.

Members of the House of Representatives assembled to elect a new Speaker, a process that normally takes a day. Instead, C-SPAN and cable news viewers were treated to days of drawn-out nomination speeches, endless voting, congressional lobbying, finger pointing, and a near-physical assault by one lawmaker on another.

Finally, Kevin McCarthy (R-California) rallied the necessary votes to secure the Speakership early Saturday morning, but viewers wondered if the House will convene in this session to pass meaningful legislation.

Professor Manning, Head of the Department of Political Science at UMD, was visiting Town Square Sunday this week to sort everything out.

A group of about 20 ultra-conservative Republican members blocked McCarthy’s election for days, forcing him to make concessions on rules and the presidency.

Manning said that even beyond the 20’s, there are likely a significant number of Republican members who voted for McCarthy but probably don’t have the greatest confidence in him.

“There is clearly a deep distrust of the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives,” Manning said. “Ultimately McCarthy prevailed and got the votes to speak, but it’s going to be difficult for him.”

Professor Manning also addressed the discovery of classified documents in President Joe Biden’s home, garage and a building he occupied as Vice President.

Manning said the incident should not be compared to the classified documents found at Donald Trump’s Florida vacation spot.

Biden’s attorneys immediately turned over any documents they found. However, Trump fought back, prompting the FBI to search his home. Manning said the Biden episode is a political issue for the president, while the Trump incident is a legal issue for the former president.

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