McCarthy emerging as new face of House Republicans?

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

McCarthy emerging as new face of House Republicans?Local Bakersfield Republican Kevin McCarthy — who as House Majority Whip is considered the third most powerful man in the House — was the subject of an Oct. 4 Los Angeles Times article where he is touted “a leader for the new GOP, for better or worse.”

McCarthy’s story as a homegrown politician — from entrepreneurial college student to staffer for a former political powerhouse Bill Thomas to meteorically rising elected leader — was glossed over in the article. The Times instead focused on McCarthy’s role in the team of “Young Guns” (along with Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan) who traveled across the country in 2010 and helped campaign for conservative candidates who eventually recaptured the House majority.

The Times also attributed the House dysfunction to in-party division between House leadership and the newer candidates they helped recruit.

“Nearly three years into the job, it’s still an open question whether McCarthy can corral, or even effectively keep track of, the majority he helped create,” writes Evan Halper in the Times.

But others look beyond McCarthy’s effectiveness as a whip, and point to the lackluster appeal of Speaker John Boehner. In the midst of Boeher’s failure to avert the “fiscal cliff” disaster last winter, a Breitbart columnist urged McCarthy to step forward as a more modern and accessible face of the GOP.

McCarthy has never wavered in his public support of House leadership, which insiders attribute to the Kern County leader’s deep-seated loyalty. But more and more, McCarthy is thrust front and center in press conferences and media interviews as he continues to press for cooperation between the House, Senate and Obama Administration (see related story, this page).

From local Town Hall discussions to interviews with the national media, McCarthy points to responsible spending and sensible regulatory relief as the best hope for job creation and a revitalized private sector. With a debt that threatens to eclipse national productivity, McCarthy says America can’t afford to continue ignoring the problem.

Meanwhile, the average citizens watch the palace intrigues from afar and wonder what the partisan games have to do with them. But McCarthy said it is those people he is fighting for.

“I feel your frustration, because I am frustrated with Washington, too,” said McCarthy. “I think we are at a crossroads, and this battle is about which direction our country is going to go.”

McCarthy said his preferred path is paving the way to vibrant economy that will kickstart the financial recovery of America. But he also points to “the shining city on the Hill” — a return of our nation’s capitol to a symbol of hope, rather than a source of government dysfunction at its worst.

As we potentially enter the Age of McCarthy, the Times notes that “few are betting on McCarthy’s star to fade.”

Story First Published: 2013-10-09