By Emily B. Cyr
When Kevin McCarthy, the favorite to become next Speaker of the House, suddenly dropped out of the race Thursday, it seemed no one could contain their shock. The likes of candidates, congressmen and even fictional characters have been weighing in on the news that rocked the GOP. As people reacted to this news that seemingly came out of left field (or maybe right in this case), they took to Twitter to express their feelings.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump was one of the first to tweet, posting a serious response: “Great, Kevin McCarthy drops out of SPEAKER race. We need a really smart and really tough person to take over this very important job!” Of course this was not the only remark made by Trump, as he then suggested who should run now: his daughter, Ivanka Trump. While this may have been a joke, to serve as Speaker of the House, one does not have to hold elected office. Unfortunately, Ivanka has not responded to her father’s tweet.
The next presidential candidate to respond was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who took this opportunity to promote his campaign video, entitled “It’s Game of Thrones Down There”. In the video, Christie candidly states:
“It’s a joke down there and now they’re having this game of thrones thing and we’re going to put off an election in another couple weeks. Nobody cares, what they should realize is… nobody cares…in the country, nobody cares who the Speaker of the House is going to be… What they care about is when you become speaker, that you actually do something worthy of the position. ”
He tweets with the hashtag #DearDC, to further make his case as a Washington outsider, and just what America needs.
Hillary Clinton similarly took the opportunity to post a video on her Twitter account but with a slightly different message than Christie’s. Clinton tweeted, “How about this @KevinMcCarthy for speaker instead?” along with a link to a video about Kevin McCarthy, a man in Iowa who has the unfortunate coincidence of bearing the house majority leader’s name. He has been receiving tweets meant for GOP Leader McCarthy due to a mix up in twitter handles (Rep. McCarthy is @GOPLeader). Of course, after asking people to stop tweeting things meant for the congressman, this McCarthy said “Go Hillary!”
What does the current Speaker of the House think about all this? Boehner simply tweeted his official statement where he focuses on the future of the party and finding a new speaker. He announced he will serve as Speaker until the House votes to elect a new one. Boehner is keeping tight lipped on the matter clearly, as he pulled out of his schedule appearance tonight on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Another person expressing his opinion is none other than the man rumored to be inspired by Kevin McCarthy: Frank Underwood. Kevin Spacey, who plays Frank Underwood on the Netflix original series House of Cards, famously shadowed McCarthy while he was the majority whip so Spacey could prepare for his role as Underwood. Hence it was not a shock when the popular Twitter account bearing Underwood’s name said, “It takes only 10 seconds to crush a man’s ambitions. #McCarthyforSpeaker”. This may be in reference to the statement McCarthy made on Hannity last week where he linked Hillary Clinton’s decreasing poll numbers to the Benghazi committee. The sentence that caused him great criticism was, roughly, 10 seconds.
Last but not least, the man of the hour himself, Kevin McCarthy. Before the vote, McCarthy tweeted a clip of Paul Ryan, stating that he agreed a good leader needed to be a good listener. After the news came out, McCarthy tweeted a vague message:
“We’re public servants. I have always put this Conference and Country ahead of myself. We need to unite behind one leader and get to work.”
But the question now is: who will that leader be?