Some political commentators have called for Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, to be elected as the next House speaker after the conservative-leaning Washington Examiner reported this week that such debates were taking place in Congress. While some commentators expressed strong support for the unconventional idea, others strongly opposed such a move.
Cheney has emerged as one of former President Donald Trump’s fiercest critics in the wake of his efforts to nullify the results of the 2020 election, and the January 6, 2021 violence — when his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol. In response to Cheney’s criticism, Trump endorsed her primary Republican rival Harriet Hageman, who handily won the Wyoming primaries and handily won the November 8 midterm elections.
While Cheney was not re-elected in Congress, she could still technically have become the Speaker of the House if she had sufficient support from House lawmakers. Relatedly, some Republicans who support Trump in the past have floated the idea of electing Trump to this position in a similar way.
A number of political commentators on Twitter have expressed strong support for the idea of electing Cheney to a higher position in the House of Representatives, which would put her second in the line of presidential succession. In the meantime, others were bothered by the proposal or completely laughed at it.
“Well, she’s sold out. Liz Cheney for Speaker of the House,” anti-Trump conservative Washington Post Opinion writer Jennifer Rubin tweeted on Friday.
“WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin suggested that if the Republican Party takes control of the House, Democrats should nominate speaker Liz Cheney. Great 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 the idea is an idiot,” Verified Twitter account Proud Elephant wrote in a tweet Friday.
The fiercely pro-Trump critic Dinesh D’Souza tweeted “crazy,” including a link to an article discussing the proposal.
NEWSWEEK I reached out to Cheney’s press secretary for comment.
said Hans Noel, an associate professor at Georgetown University who researches political coalitions NEWSWEEK On Saturday, he said he would be “very surprised” if Cheney was elected House speaker.
“I think that’s the kind of Hollywood ‘West Wing’ scenario that is technically possible, but it won’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 the majority of House members.”
Noel added that he does not expect most Democrats to support the plan, especially progressives who make up a large portion of the party’s bloc in the House.
“Sometimes members cross party lines in support of another party’s candidate, and in the early days of the republic, when the parties were not well established, there was such a case. But that would be a feat of extraordinary coordination to happen today,” he said.
Noel noted that, unlike Trump and Jan. 6, Cheney’s political views don’t really appeal to most Democrats — whose support she’ll need if such a plan works.
Control of the House of Representatives has yet to be determined, although analysts largely expect Republicans to take a very narrow control of the lower house of Congress. As the vote count continued, Democrats won 199 seats while Republicans won 211, according to the Associated Press. Either party needs at least 218 to gain a majority.
NBC News currently estimates that the Republicans will end up with 220 seats and the Democrats will get 215. If this prediction is correct, it would show a small victory for the Republican Party, but it would be far from the promised “red wave” that minority in the House of Representatives promised Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, He is a Republican from California, and his allies are electors. There is also still a small chance that Democrats will eventually be able to hold onto a majority after all the votes have been counted.
Although McCarthy has long been seen as the frontrunner for the next House Speaker, his party’s disappointing performance in the midterms has led to scrutiny and a backlash against his leadership. Some Republicans are openly calling for another legislator to be elected to the position, while many say their members need at least to discuss alternatives.