Sheila McLaughlin and Deirdre Shesgreen report:
West Chester Republican John Boehner said he is confident he can win a third term as House Speaker, despite his rocky three years in the post and his narrow re-election to that leadership slot in 2013.
“It won’t even be close,” Boehner said of his re-election as speaker during an hour-long exclusive interview Monday with The Enquirer.
“I frankly think I’m in better shape with my own caucus than I have been any time in the last three years. … I think they understand me better.”
Others weren’t so sure.
“Boehner can’t take anything for granted in his conference,” said David Wasserman, who analyzes House races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “The preponderance of the evidence would suggest that he won’t run for another term as speaker, but it’s impossible to get inside his head.”
At the same time, Wasserman also said Boehner could probably easily defeat a challenge from one of the conservative rebels in his ranks. He’d have a harder time if he had to run against one the more trusted, experienced lawmakers in the GOP conference, such as his deputy, Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., Wasserman said.
Boehner said he’s not bothered by his GOP colleagues’ efforts to distance themselves from him as they campaign for re-election. Several conservative groups have mounted campaigns to oust Boehner and are pressuring Republican candidates to say they will not support him for another term as the GOP leader.
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