Shadegg Proclaims Victory in Defeat

Rep. John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.), whose candidacy for House majority leader propelled Rep. John Boehner (R.-Ohio) to victory last week, is embracing his new role as Republican reformer.

Shadegg finished third on the first ballot of last Thursday’s election for House majority leader. Because Rep. Roy Blunt (R.-Mo.) fell seven votes short of the 117 needed to win the post, Shadegg’s votes became an important factor on the second ballot. And when every single vote went to Boehner, he easily beat Blunt.

“It is clear that Republican members of Congress realized that voters demand real change, and that Rep. John Shadegg’s campaign led to John Boehner’s victory,” said Mike Steel, Shadegg’s spokesman.

During last Thursday’s meeting of the House Republican Conference, Shadegg was nominated for House majority leader by Rep. Mark Souder (R.-Ind.). Rep. Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) seconded the nomination and moderate Rep. Charlie Bass (R.-N.H.) gave a passionate speech about Shadegg.

“The three speeches made to nominate and second John Shadegg for Majority Leader reflected the common vision of his campaign,” Steel said in a press release. “That theme was the need for real, substantial reform and for Republicans to keep the two promises they made to the American people: to reduce the size and scope of government, and to clean up Washington, D.C. The speeches were unusually substantive for nominating speeches, and Congressman Shadegg worked closely with Reps. Mark Souder, Paul Ryan, and Charlie Bass to craft the message.”

Those nominating and second speeches have been posted on Shadegg’s website. The links are below.

In addition, here is some of the reaction to Shadegg’s campaign, as released by Shadegg’s office.

“Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., isn’t the new House majority leader. But he is a new national hero to conservatives. Although he finished third in today’s GOP race, Shadegg is getting credit for ensuring the defeat of frontrunner Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri.”
—”Shadegg’s Star Is Rising,” The Arizona Republic’s “Plugged In”

“The candidacy of Mr. Shadegg says a lot about the need for change – and a refreshing call to principle. We admire his courage and clarity, and thank him for his efforts. We should add that in our view – there is NO way Mr. Boehner would have won without Mr. Shadegg’s entry into the race.”

“Even though Shadegg lost, he can still hold his head high. …. He has now built a name for himself as a principled conservative and more importantly, he made a big difference in this race. Not only did his candidacy undoubtedly force both Boehner and Blunt to promise more ethics and spending reforms than they initially intended, had Shadegg not gotten into the race, turned the whole thing into a “reform-off,” and peeled off those 40 votes, Blunt would have likely won in a walk on the first ballot.”
—Right Wing News

“Shadegg’s entry froze the race in place. Otherwise Blunt would have continued his march and locked it up long ago … Boehner had shrewdly hugged the Arizonian throughout the race, making himself acceptable to Shadegg’s supporters and further associating himself with reform.”
—Rich Lowry, National Review Online

“While the first choice of many of us in the blogosphere, Representative Shadegg, did not win the election, his impact on the race cannot be denied. His candidacy reminded his fellow Representatives that real reform, and real change in the leadership, was not simply the right thing to do, but utterly necessary to ensure the success of the GOP in November.”
—NZ Bear, The Truth Laid Bare

“Electing Blunt would have been suicidal. Electing Shadegg would have instantly energized the base, and gotten the party respect. In short, the Republican leadership knows that going too far to ignore its believers will lead to a disaster this November… but they want to try to limit the scope of that to as much “business as usual” as humanly possible.”
—Boxing Alcibiades