House Majority Leader John Boehner (R.-Ohio), at his first pen-and-pad briefing for reporters today, declined to say what role Rep. John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.) would play in the GOP leadership.
In response to a question from HUMAN EVENTS’ Amanda Carpenter, Boehner brushed aside the possibility of giving Shadegg an unofficial leadership job. Here’s the exchange:
Q: Earlier this month you said you would consider an informal leadership role for Mr. Shadegg—assistant majority leader was thrown around. What kind of role do you expect him now to play?
A: We are continuing to chat.
As Shadegg told me Saturday in Phoenix, he didn’t expect Boehner to make an offer and wasn’t sure if he’d accept a high-profile role if it meant he would have to compromise on his conservative principles.
Boehner first acknowledge the idea in an interview with National Review’s Stephen Spruiell shortly after Shadegg’s supporters handed Boehner victory on the second ballot of the House majority leader’s race. Here’s that exchange:
Q: Will you consider giving Shadegg some sort of informal role in the leadership?
A: He and I had talked about that yesterday. I think he’s a very talented and valuable member of our team. I think we will continue to chat about what kind of role he can play in helping our team.
Such a role would likely be similar to the one that former Rep. Rob Portman (R.-Ohio) held as White House liaison—presenting Shadegg with an opportunity to advance issues important to conservatives.
Townhall.com’s Tim Chapman coined the term assistant majority leader—a job that would put Shadegg in an unelected position but give him a higher profile as a conservative pushing reforms to lobbying, the budget process and Indian gaming.