Boehner re-elected as Speaker of the House

Via Politico. Depressing, for sure, but the only surprise here is how close conservatives came to dethroning the guy.

John Boehner was elected Tuesday to serve another two years as the speaker of the House, beating back opposition from a surprisingly large group of conservatives who wanted a fresh face atop the Republican conference.

The Ohio Republican got 216 votes out of 408 cast, while 25 dissenting Republicans voted for candidates as varied as Reps. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), as well as former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Boehner’s dissenters were well short of forcing a second round of voting, but the historically large number of votes against him — exceeding the 12 to 20 that had been expected — show the clear limits on his power inside the GOP Conference.

Boehner, a 24-year veteran of Washington, will lead the largest Republican House since the Great Depression, while Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell will lead the Republican Senate for the final two years of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Conservatives needed 29 votes to force a second round of voting, leaving them four shy. Clearly some conservatives held their nose and voted for Boehner for fear of retribution in the likely event their effort failed. Hats off to the 25 who voted their conscience.

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