Conservative Columbia Graduate Now Acting Majority Whip
Congressman Eric Cantor (VA-7) is a great choice for a number of reasons; he is smart, goes over well on TV, and has a Masters Degree in Real Estate Finance from Columbia Business School. Most importantly, he is a committed conservative who unites Republicans.
The interim majority whip is a relative newcomer having only been elected to congress in 2000. Cantor served on the House Financial Services Committee and on the House International Relations Committee during his first term, and became Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare. In November 2002, he was appointed Chief Deputy Whip and was chosen by the Republican Conference to sit on the Ways and Means Committee. His rise to being the number 3 Republican in the House is almost unprecedented. He has managed to get support from almost all factions of the GOP and remains a favorite of both former Majority Leader (and before that Whip) DeLay and the "temporary" Majority Leader Roy Blunt. Cantor's has the ability to juggle different factions and his feuding patrons, DeLay and Blunt. Moreover, Cantor accomplished this while sitting on the controversial House Immigration Reform Caucus.
While Cantor may have been largely over looked by all but local and Jewish Media, - Cantor is one of the few Jewish Republicans in the House- I expect him to quickly become a spokesperson for the House GOP. Though interim Majority Leader Blunt is certainly capable, his abrasive style and Southern accent reminds many of DeLay. Likewise Speaker Hastert has a low "Q Rating." As the 2006 elections approach, the House GOP leadership will need an official voice to counter the daily barrage by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the liberal press. Congressman Dreier was supposed to be this spokesman, but his nomination was killed by a conservative revolt. As a young urbane Virginia Republican with only a mildly discernible regional accent and an Ivy League degree, Cantor is the logical choice.