Midday Commentary on Last Night’s News — Oct. 8, 2015

I wonder what Justin Miller is up to these days.

Whatever it is can’t be more interesting than the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker’s election. Things just got real with the bowing out of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. A thing about majority leaders: they have a very difficult time moving to the Speaker’s chair. Sure, it happens, but one generates a lot of baggage as Midday Commentary on Last Night's News -- Oct. 8, 2015majority leader. Yeah, the Speaker controls the vote, but the majority leader is the one who twists arms, makes  promises, and disciplines when necessary.

I have no clue what the case was with McCarthy, but I do know one thing, this opens the door for Rep. Jason Chaffetz. The Utah Republican, who looked like an also-ran yesterday looks pretty well positioned today. Sure, the conservative bloc of the caucus endorsed someone Rep. Daniel Webster but if it’s just Chaffetz vs. Webster, there may be enough swing left in the House to make things really, really close.

I, for one, love this stuff. It eliminates this gross obsession we have with coronations, and instead looks much more like the Founders intended: you hammer things out until you get consensus, then you move on with your bruised thumbs, bent nails, and all.

• Also, the Governor Herbert’s office appears to be hightailing it away from Medicaid expansion as quickly as humanly possible. In a standard political maneuver, the LG is stepping out in front of it, this time via KUTV:

“Sometimes there’s just not a way forward we can agree on, and then we’ll move on to other things.” (Cox said)

• (Herbert was busy in an F-35 simulator cockpit, which explains why he didn’t have time to comment on his signature effort over the past three years).

• Local savant Dan Burton explains why this thing never stood a chance a month and a half ago. (UPH)

• Former state senator and Dnews commentator Dan Liljenquist suggests throwing it to the voters to decide. It’s a reasonable proposal, as long as voters see it for what it is. For advocates of full expansion, it’s likely the last chance they’ll get.

• And finally, Marco Rubio is coming to town. He follows a short list of other candidates who have visited Utah. It took some time, but it’s starting to look like he’s being treated as a top-tier candidate.


And if none of that interests you, perhaps Sponge Bob singing Black Sabbath will!

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