Was chewing the fat with a plugged-in friend who is sympathetic to Boehner. Of DeLay he says, “my given is that he’s going to come to the same conclusion you guys did,” i.e. it’s best for him to step aside. He thinks there are three possible candidates, Blunt and Boehner of course, but also perhaps Rep. Mike Pence (Indiana).
He thinks Pence might have support from the younger generation, but that a lot of members complain that he’s “a little bit more showboat than substance.” (This concern also appeared in the Washington Post story today.)
Of Blunt, he says that some members consider him arrogant: “The speaker and DeLay have all been rankled with how Blunt has conducted himself.” Further, he might not have the support he thinks: “He thinks he’s holding a hand he doesn’t have. Blunt thinks he has 200 votes and that’s a joke.”
Of Boehner, he says he has reformist “DNA” going back to the House banking scandal, which he raised a fuss about back when he was in the minority. He has always refused to take pork for his district (which is true, check out this Cincinnati Enquirer story). He has no Abramoff ties. And he’s been in the leadership before.
“What they need is adult supervision, from a conservative who is relatively untainted.” Yes, he admits, Boehner has strong K St. ties. “He’s friends with K St., he smokes,” and likes to hang out with those guys. But: “If you are pro-free market in Washington, the National Association of Manufacturers is going to find you and be your friend, that’s just how it works.”