Trump seeks to assert himself as kingmaker in Speaker race, endorses Jim Jordan

Washington: Former US President Donald Trump has sought to reassert his authority within the GOP by stepping into the choice for a new speaker endorsing house Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan for the top job after teasing Republicans he could step in as a stop gap arrangement.

This was Trump’s biggest bombshell in recent times suggesting judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan for the job and his stepping as speaker tempore.

“Jordan will be a GREAT Speaker of the House & has my Complete & Total Endorsement,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social network.

The post however spent more time lauding Jordan’s prowess as a student wrestler than his political career, media analysts said.

The Ohio Republican is seen as one of the most polarizing figures in Washington and “one of Trump’s most loyal attack dogs”, the analysts said adding , Trump endorsed Jordan for the top job as he played a key role in an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan have emerged as the hottest Republican candidates for the post over centrists in the GOP in the speakers race — Scalise is currently the house majority leader of the republicans and Jordan is the chairman of the judiciary committee.

Scalise is suffering from leukaemia first stage and his treatment is reportedly going well and he is the first choice of the dissident leader from Florida Mike Getz, who led the ouster of McCarthy.

The ex-president took advantage of the explosive situation last Thursday fishing in the swirling waters of the mayhem caused by the ouster of Republican Kevin McCarthy from the speaker’s chair for his alleged betrayal of trust with GOP seeking the support of democrats to prevent the government shutdown over spending cuts,which hardliners led by Mike Gaetz from Florida did not want.

Trump followed up on the ouster of MCCarthy characterising himself as the kingmaker to steal the limelight for himself, analysts at CNN wrote.

On a day of drama reminiscent of the chaos inside the Trump White House on January 6, 2021, the former president’s camp floated rumours of the ex-President’s potential first visit to the US Capitol since January 6 when his supporters ransacked it endangering the lives of several senators and congressmen present there, media reports said.

Then Trump teased the possibility that he could even step in as speaker himself on an interim basis.

Jordan, who is running against Republican House Majority leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana for the top job, signals a new period of “fierce combat with the White House” if he wins the speakership. Because, he has opposed the US military aid to Ukraine, and a Republican House majority led by Jordan would likely increase the chances of a government shutdown next month in a showdown over spending cuts with Democrats, reports said.

November 17 is the deadline until which McCarthy’s compromised formula with democrats for keeping the government coffers open to federal agencies works.

Trumps endorsement of Jordan, after the fomer President’s dismal show in the November 2022 elections to the house, poses a new danger to the moderates in the GOP.

“Jordan’s candidacy – and a Trump endorsement – rings alarm bells for moderate Republicans who fear voters in their districts will be alienated by Trump on the top of the ticket in 2024.”

The Speakership race has become critical as the infighting in the GOP between moderates and hardliners continues and other centrist Republicans. Scalise may have greater appeal than Jordan particularly with the major donors for the GOP falling outside the far-right of the party.

Scalise, who survived a 2017 shooting at a Congressional baseball practice and has recently been treated for blood cancer, is widely popular in the Republican conference.

He has voted in favour of more aid to Ukraine that moderates would factor in during a vote that could be closer to GOP’s traditional hawkish internationalism than Trump’s “Make America Great Again” nationalism.


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