January 27, 2023

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Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives: Elected in the fifteenth round

“All Kevin McCarthy cares about is Kevin McCarthy.” This joke circulating in the halls of Capitol Hill is about the new Speaker of the House, yet electedExhausting and humiliating for a 15-vote marathon (the longest in 164 years), with a tense moment at the end of 14th Street that tore an already divided Republican party and will make running the House very difficult in the next two years.

California grizzly, who will turn 58 on January 26, He was not discouraged He showed optimism to the end, except for a moment of anger towards archenemy Mata Giants, which led to his resounding defeat in the fourteenth ballot.

Donald Trump even phoned Giants and another opponent, Andy Biggs, who voted for a third candidate in the 14th round, to get them to give preference to his candidate. On the final vote, but without the opposite vote of Biggs, who also abstained along with four other dissenters, McCarthy received the required 216 votes. “Finally!, finally!”yelled from California when the House clerk read the vote result.

The son of a homemaker and deputy fire chief, he is the first Republican in his family and He has Italian blood in his veins Because of his maternal grandfather who immigrated to the United States. McCarthy has been married since 1992 to his high school sweetheart, Judy, and has two children, Connor, 27, and Megan, 25.

Considered one of the most adept campaign fund-raisers of politicians – “The Wizard of Washington” is one of his nicknames -, McCarthy was Trumpy from the first hourSo much so that the billionaire used to call him “my Kevin”. Loyalty to the former president is such that in the aftermath of the election that Joe Biden won in 2020, he continued to claim that Trump had won. Except after that, he attacked it forcefully after the revolution of January 6, 2021.Assault on Capitol Hillgo to the former president’s residence in Mar-a-Lago to ask for forgiveness.

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Those who know him argue that his strength lies precisely in his “resilience” and “kindness”, “Eat carrots and no sticks.”. For McCarthy, as they say, there are no red lines, no core political beliefs or inviolable principles, just a willingness to adapt. A seasoned politician and realist, his closeness to Trump never made him veer into denial or conspiracy theories.

In his candidacy for the role of speaker was thwarted by the ultra-conservatives, as indeed happened the first time he tried it in 2015, which accused him of being in the service of large lobbyists against the average American. “My dad always said it’s not the way you start, it’s the way you end,” he said. And after his upset victory, the new Speaker of the House can only hope that his father is right.

President Joe Biden He congratulated McCarthy on his election, saying, “As I said after the midterm elections, I am prepared to work with the Republicans whenever possible, and the voters expect, as they clearly stated, that the Republicans are willing to work with me. Now the House leadership has decided that process must begin.” .