The Corner

How to Play The Inside Game

That’s a good account in the Washington Post. Little things can matter, like the fact that Blunt had all the phone numbers:

Those already in the leadership are at an advantage early on — they have access to a database that can help them reach colleagues and top staff members at home or at their favorite vacation spots.

It ends with a brief take on the conservatives:

Some members who decide not to run try to form a voting bloc to influence the race or to force concessions on the party’s agenda, committee assignments or other matters. In this case, the Republican Study Group, an alliance of about 100 conservatives led by Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), is the big prize.

Pence said he will remain neutral at least until the group meets later this month to discuss the election and consider endorsements.

Many members of Pence’s group want to hold off in anticipation of the one thing that makes these races often impossible to handicap — the unexpected twist. This is what Shadegg is hoping for. In this case, the political environment is hostile to big-money Republicans, and younger lawmakers might come to the conclusion that neither Blunt nor Boehner would offer the clean break from the DeLay era that the party needs to move beyond the scandal.

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