Some political commentators have called for Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, to be elected as the next Speaker of the House after the conservative-leaning Washington Examiner reported this week that such discussions were taking place in Congress. While some commentators have expressed strong support for the unorthodox idea, others have staunchly opposed such a move.
Cheney has emerged as one of the staunchest critics of former President Donald Trump in the wake of his efforts to undo the 2020 election results, and the violence that took place on January 6, 2021 — when his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol. In response to Cheney’s criticism, Trump approved her GOP primary challenger, Harriet Hageman, who won the Wyoming primaries easily and won handily in the midterm elections on Nov. 8.
Although Cheney was not re-elected to Congress, she could technically still become a House speaker if she got enough support from House lawmakers. Related to this, some staunchly pro-Trump Republicans have previously floated the idea of electing Trump for the role in a similar fashion.
On Twitter, a number of political commentators expressed strong support for the idea of electing Cheney to the highest House position, which would place her No. 2 in the line of succession to the presidency. Meanwhile, others were alarmed by the suggestion or mocked it completely.
“OK, I’m sold. Liz Cheney for Speaker,” conservative anti-Trump Washington Post opinion columnist Jennifer Rubin tweeted Friday.
“WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin suggested that if the GOP gains control of the House, the Democrats should nominate Liz Cheney chairman. Brilliant idea in many ways!” CNN contributor John W. Dean wrote in a Twitter post.
Others were less enthusiastic.
“Liz Cheney will not be Speaker of the House. Whoever suggested that idea is an idiot,” the verified Twitter account Proud Elephant wrote in a tweet Friday.
“Insanity,” tweeted staunch pro-Trump pundit Dinesh D’Souza, including a link to an article discussing the suggestion.
News week contacted Cheney’s press secretary for comment.
Hans Noel, an associate professor at Georgetown University who studies political coalitions, said: News week on Saturday that he would be “very surprised” if Cheney were actually elected Speaker of the House.
“I think this is the kind of ‘West Wing’ Hollywood scenario that is technically possible but wouldn’t happen for practical reasons,” Noel said. “We can identify some moderate Republicans who might like this idea, and some moderate Democrats, but I doubt that’s a majority of the room.”
Noel added that he wouldn’t expect most Democrats to support the plan, especially progressives who make up much of the party’s household goods.
“Sometimes some members cross party lines to support another party’s candidate, and in the early republic, when the parties were not well established, there was a case like this. But it would be an feat of extraordinary coordination to do it today.” make it happen,” he said.
Noel pointed out that after Trump and January 6, Cheney’s political views don’t really appeal to most Democrats — whose support she’d need if such a plan were to succeed.
House control has not yet been determined, although analysts largely expect Republicans to take very limited control of the lower house of Congress. While the votes are still being counted, the Democrats have won 199 seats, while the Republicans have won 211, according to the The Bharat Express News. Each party needs at least 218 to maintain the majority.
NBC News currently estimates that Republicans will eventually have 220 seats and Democrats 215. If that prediction is correct, this would be a small win for the GOP, but fall far short of the promised “red wave” that will hit the House minority leader. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, and his allies promised voters. There is also still a slim chance that the Democrats will eventually be able to retain the majority after all the votes have been counted.
While McCarthy has long been seen as the clear frontrunner to become the next speaker in the House, his party’s disappointing performance during the midterms has drawn criticism and opposition to his leadership. Some Republicans are openly calling for another legislator to take the role, while many say their members should at least discuss alternatives.