Jordan Strikes Out

Three increasingly-embarrassing defeats is all you get, apparently.

WaPo Breaking: “House Republicans vote to drop Jordan as speaker nominee

House Republicans, meeting behind closed doors, voted Friday by secret ballot for Jordan (Ohio) to step aside following a third vote on the House floor in which Jordan fell well short of a majority of the full chamber. The move leaves the Republican conference without a speaker nominee more than two weeks after the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Lawmakers will return Monday to start the process over again.

For some reason, the Web version is way behind the app version but Matt Gaetz is crying about the unfairness of it all.


Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio lost an internal vote to continue as his party’s nominee for speaker on Friday, plunging the House into further uncertainty and sending Republicans searching for a new leader.

The vote came hours after Mr. Jordan failed for a third time to win election as House speaker, leaving his party with no consensus on a way forward and the chamber paralyzed in the face of growing pressure to get back to business.

Mr. Jordan had pushed ahead with the vote despite clear signs that he would fall short, and the outcome showed that he had actually lost ground, with 25 Republicans opposing him compared to the 22 who voted against him on his last try on Wednesday. Needing 215 votes to win, he received 194.

Three Republicans from swing districts won by President Biden — Representatives Marc Molinaro of New York, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Thomas H. Kean Jr. of New Jersey — abandoned Mr. Jordan after supporting him earlier.

“Unfortunately Jim is no longer going to be the nominee,” said former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, whose ouster 18 days ago by hard-right rebels threw the House into disarray. “We will have to go back to the drawing board.”

There is no consensus among Republicans about an alternative candidate to Mr. Jordan. Republicans have already shown resistance to a temporary solution that would give Representative Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina, who is acting as speaker pro tempore, the authority to run the House for a few months. The ideological and personal divisions that have flared in recent days show no signs of abating.


Representative Andy Ogles of Tennessee said it was “absurd” that Republicans were going home for the weekend instead of restarting the process immediately. He added that the majority of the members in the conference shouted, “No!” when the schedule was announced. “We’re not done, and we shouldn’t be leaving,” he said.


Meanwhile, it’s hard to overstate how spitting mad conservatives are. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida says Jordan was “knifed by secret ballot, anonymously, in a closed-door meeting in the bowels of the Capitol.” Gaetz says, “This was truly swamp tactics on display.”

Again, the sheer deliciousness of Gaetz, who essentially single-handedly got us into this mess (granted, 7 idiots went along) whining about his guy being denied a chance to run for a fourth ballot, having garnered fewer votes than the guy that was ousted, McCarthy, and done successively worse on each ballot, it something to behold.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    Three increasingly-embarrassing defeats is all you get, apparently.

    Well, all he gets, but we get the best show since Barbenheimer. What’s better than watching Gym Jordan be humiliated? It’s the Taylor Swift concert for political junkies.

  2. James Joyner says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Indeed, if we didn’t need to get some budgets passed, it would be worth keeping this up through the election.

  3. Scott says:

    Two massive cartloads of pizza were being spotted being wheeled into the Republican conference meeting as they struggle to pick a speaker.

    GOP lawmakers are meeting after Jim Jordan fell short yet again on his third floor try for the speakership.

    My question would be: Is this supplied by the taxpayer or by donors. We have a large national debt, you know.

  4. Scott says:

    This made me laugh so hard.

    7 of McCarthy’s GOP foes make an offer: Vote for Jordan and punish us

    Seven of the eight House Republicans who voted to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy made their colleagues an eye-catching offer on Friday: If GOP holdouts vote for Jim Jordan as speaker, they would accept “censure, suspension or removal from the conference.”

    The suggestion came in the form of a letter, obtained by POLITICO, that was cosigned by all eight GOP lawmakers who voted to remove McCarthy as speaker earlier this month: Reps. Nancy Mace (S.C.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Tim Burchett (Tenn.), Eli Crane (Ariz.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), Bob Good (Va.), Ken Buck (Colo.) and Andy Biggs (Ariz.).

    I would vote for removal. But perhaps stocks and ripe tomatoes would suffice.

  5. Lounsbury says:

    I confess an excess of amusement and pleasure from this, from across the Atlantic.

    @James Joyner: As indeed it seems some of my US side RE items are apparently in derailment danger.

  6. Mister Bluster says:

    I have heard several Republican members of the United States House of Representatives claim that if only some Democrats voted for the Republican candidate for Speaker of the House yada, yada, yada.
    I have yet to hear any journalist ask these sluggards how many votes did the Republicans cast for the other candidate on the House Speaker ballot. Democratic Representative Hakeem Jeffries.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    @Mister Bluster: Exactly

  8. Kathy says:

    Maybe he’s a committed bottom, and has just scored the greatest, most public BDSM performance ever.

  9. Jay L Gischer says:

    This process – this wild scramble – will end when people like Matt Gaetz realize that they can’t have what they want, no matter how much posturing they do, no matter how much media coverage they get, no matter how many steering wheels they throw away in their game of chicken.

    It doesn’t quite look like that has happened yet, but it’s moving that way, definitely. Honestly, this is a more healthy dynamic than the House Republican conference has had for years.

  10. Kevin says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I’m not sure it does. After all, the burn it down caucus succeeds if they elect one of their own, or if they elect no one. Either way the government is hamstrung, and may well shut down.

  11. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kevin: No, I’m not sure where this goes, though I may have given that impression. But it’s a step forward. Gaetz is not striking me as being all that much of a strategic thinker or looking that far ahead. He’s a creature of emotion in the moment.

  12. charontwo says:

    To understand how we got to this point, here’s one fact to keep in mind: Among the twenty-two Republicans to vote against Jim Jordan in his second ballot, seven are appropriators, the financial whizzes of the Capitol whose work is critical to keeping the government’s lights on every fiscal year. Jordan’s tenure has been full of clashes with these lawmakers and their work, making the past several days much easier to understand than the traditional “moderates vs. hardliners” theme that’s been common in the press clippings.

    Despite assurances from some Republicans that there “has been a lot of change and, I guess, maturity” from Jordan in recent years, the seasoned appropriators weren’t buying it. They know that Jordan has played key roles in past government shutdowns and obstructed their work over the years. Jordan knows this too. I’m told that beyond the seven who voted for an alternative, other members of the Appropriations Committee fielded frantic calls from Jordan’s team to make sure they were still on board between the first and second ballots.

    These appropriators understand Jordan’s modus operandi, which explains the firm opposition. Jordan’s parsimonious attitude toward the federal budget isn’t the deciding factor—many Republicans on the Appropriations Committee are all about slashing spending. It’s Jordan’s use of obstruction, bullying, and lying that turned them against him.

    While Jordan publicly talking about wanting party unity, behind the scenes he furiously engaged in the same old bullying and intimidation that’s been a hallmark of his 16-year, zero-passed-bills career in Washington.

    It didn’t stop with Hannity. Steve Bannon posted the office phone number of Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) on his “War Room” podcast show (Womack later said his staff have been repeatedly “cussed out” on the phone). The Blaze’s Glenn Beck tweeted that opposing Jordan will prompt a primary campaign:

  13. JohnSF says:

    US news:
    “Jordan capitulates!”
    Rest of the world:
    Is the situation in the Middle East that bad already?
    (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

  14. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Scott: I think a meeting with a cat ‘o nine tails would be more appropriate.

  15. just nutha says:

    @Kevin: Indeed. Success or failure may depend on the goal sought. Are the seeking to get what they want or merely to prevent others from achieving other goals. And sometimes strategy dictates that playing to a stalemate is the best (available) outcome. The Hastert rule functioned that way. The world is full of Hobson’s choices.

  16. Kathy says:

    I think this is where the GQP made its principles clear: Minority rule for thee but not for me.

  17. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Well, I’ve a burning torch and a pitchfork that I’m not using at the moment…

  18. charontwo says:
  19. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    Gee, another secret ballot within the Republican party has vastly different results than what they will say and do in public.

    Spineless clowns.

  20. Gustopher says:

    Jordan wanted to go for a fourth ballot, and I am a little sad they didn’t let him. That said, I’m not sure which is more humiliating, to keep losing humiliating public votes, or have the rest of the party forcibly stop the humiliating votes.

  21. al Ameda says:


    Seven of the eight House Republicans who voted to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy made their colleagues an eye-catching offer on Friday: If GOP holdouts vote for Jim Jordan as speaker, they would accept “censure, suspension or removal from the conference.”

    The suggestion came in the form of a letter, obtained by POLITICO, that was cosigned by all eight GOP lawmakers who voted to remove McCarthy as speaker earlier this month: Reps. Nancy Mace (S.C.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Tim Burchett (Tenn.), Eli Crane (Ariz.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), Bob Good (Va.), Ken Buck (Colo.) and Andy Biggs (Ariz.).

    Remember the ‘hang Mike Pence gallows’?
    Well, I’d have that taken out of the D.C. Evidence Warehouse and brought over to The House Republican conference, and see if those guys were serious about their ‘removal from the conference’ offer.