Eric Cantor's star rises as DeLay's falls
Looks like Congressman Eric Cantor's star in the Republican Party continues to rise. The chief deputy Republican whip will handle more duties in the whip office now that Tom DeLay has been indicted on conspiracy charges and has stepped down temporarily from his role as House Majority Leader.
Cantor's political journey has been fascinating to watch. He has gone from what some have said was the reluctant successor to Tom Bliley to being called a "Bush attack dog" in just five years. He was a product of the Ray Allen-Boyd Marcus political machine and when Bliley retired, Cantor (a la Greg Brady playing Johnny Bravo) "fit the suit." There were those who questioned his passion for politics, but if his heart isn’t in it now, he sure knows how to fake it.
I remember interviewing him several times as he was running for Congress for the first time. There were those who whispered that he was a puppet. I didn't know then and I don't know now if there was any validity to that. I do remember that he seemed uncomfortable with the mantle of power. My, how things change.
Since that time, Cantor sure has found his groove. He raises millions of dollars to run essentially unopposed in elections, receives 100 percent ratings on his voting records from conservative groups and falls in line with virtually every position held by President Bush. Do you know anyone who agrees with his boss that often?
I don't know where Eric Cantor's star is headed but I'll keep watching the skies. Will he win his next election bid with 107 percent of the vote? Or will his staunch, unflagging support of President Bush hurt him in a state whose support for the president is wavering? Stay tuned, stargazers ...