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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Pence Endorses Shadegg as Bloggers Quiz Majority Leader Candidates

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mike Pence has endorsed Rep. John Shadegg, R-AZ, to succeed Rep. Tom Delay, R-TX, as House Majority Leader. Pence, an Indiana Republican had himself been encouraged by many bloggers and conservative movement leaders to seek the post.

Also seeking the post are Rep. Roy Blunt, R-MO, who has filled in for Delay for several months on a temporary basis, and Rep. John Boehner, R-OH.

In his statement, Pence said:

"Two weeks from today, the Republican Congress will face a choice of enormous significance in the life of our nation and our majority. As chairman of the Republican Study Committee, it is always my goal to take action, with deliberation, in the best interests of our members and the conservative movement.

"Out of respect for the fact that members of RSC would be supporting a variety of candidates, I had intended to withhold any endorsement in the race for Majority Leader. But given the addition of a prominent RSC member to the field and given that many members have already expressed a preference, it has become clear to me that an earlier, personal endorsement is now appropriate.

"My choice is John Shadegg. While I see Roy Blunt and John Boehner as conservative men with honorable records of service in Congress, I am proud to endorse John Shadegg for Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives.

"John Shadegg is a proven conservative leader in Congress. During his years as chairman of the Republican Study Committee and the House Policy Committee, John Shadegg has demonstrated a passion for the conservative agenda and a heart to build bridges between the diverse members of our Republican conference.

"John Shadegg is a son of the Republican revolution, a member of the fabled class of 1994, and a leader who has never lost his zeal for reform. John Shadegg knows what fiscal and moral reforms are necessary to restore public confidence in the integrity of our national legislature.

"Now, more than ever, we need leadership with the energy and vision to steer this Congress back to our roots of fiscal discipline, limited government and traditional values.

"John Shadegg is the right man with the right agenda to lead our majority during the challenging days that lie ahead. I humbly urge all my colleagues to support John Shadegg of Arizona as our next Majority Leader."

UPDATE: Bloggers Get Historic Telly Time With Candidates

Meanwhile, each of the three candidates are being interviewed today via conference telephone calls by bloggers covering the contest. I'll be posting links to as many of the posts that result from the three interviews as they become available to them.

Here are links to audios of the interviews: Shadegg. Boehner. Blunt.

For reactions from participating bloggers, see below. I will be updating and adding to these links as I find them. By the way, this whole process shows in a small way how bloggers can have a direct role in both delivering news more quickly than the mainstream media and moving government towards greater transparency:

First off is LaShawn Barber, who asked Shadegg, the first to be interviewed, the first question. She liked what she heard. You can find out why here. You will want to go back to LaShawn's post as she will be updating it with her thoughts on the remaining two interviews.

RedState's Mike Krempasky noted that Shadegg addressed the fact Blunt has not resigned his temporary post, which may well be an intimidating factor for other Members who wonder about the consequencs of voting against the Missouri Republican.

Krempasky also participated in the Boehner interview and was not at all impressed.
That's what I call being blunt with Blunt.

Michelle Malkin was impressed with Shadegg's "passionate commitment to limited government" and much else.

Hugh Hewitt thinks Shadegg is a man who plays hardball and who is out to win. Sounds good to me, folks!

James Joyner listens to Shadegg and hears a True Believer in the Goldwater tradition. With Boenher, Joyner heard some smooth evasions.

Finally, Hewitt explains why it's historic and Truth Laid Bear puts it all together in one handy chart.