Ron Johnson's impatient to be a leader; Does he have a clue what that means? | Wis.Community

Ron Johnson's impatient to be a leader; Does he have a clue what that means?

Sen. Ron Johnson, the guy who married the third basewoman and thought he hit a triple, says he is an "impatient" lawmaker who wants to have an impact. So he's running for a Republican leadership position in the Senate, in what Roll Call as a Tea Party vs. Establishment contest. Johnson, of course, is the Tea Party candidate.

We'll let Roll Call tell the story:

Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.) has quickly secured the support of conservatives in his bid for GOP Conference vice chairman, but Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.) could still prove to be a tough opponent in any head-to-head matchup if leadership members and other establishment Republicans side with him.

Blunt said Monday that he is still considering whether to join Johnson in the race for the fifth-ranking Republican leadership position. The election is in early January.

“That’d be fine. Certainly I appreciate serving with Sen. Blunt,” Johnson said. “I would bring a slightly different perspective” to the position. [That's for sure.-- Xoff]

... Blunt, also elected last year, spent the prior 14 years in the House, during which he served as Whip and for a brief time as acting Majority Leader.

Blunt’s leadership experience and pragmatic streak could make him an attractive alternative to Johnson among current leaders, centrists and establishment figures in the Senate Republican Conference. The Missourian is a deputy on Sen. Jon Kyl’s (Ariz.) Whip team and also might be valued for his strong relationships with House Republicans and his understanding of how the other chamber operates.

“Johnson is always a big critic of how things are being run, but he has yet to show that he understands how to get things done in Congress,” a senior Republican Senate aide said. “Just being a vocal critic may not be enough of a selling point to a caucus that wants to see real results on some very tough issues.” ...

“I was pretty encouraged by Members calling me up and encouraging me to run and then going on record,” Johnson said of the support he’s received. “That’s a pretty good sign.”

A Republican operative with relationships in the Senate confirmed that members of the GOP leadership team as well as the establishment wing of the Conference would be more likely to favor Blunt over Johnson for the vice chairman post. But having Johnson in the leadership fold might also be an attractive way to provide the more conservative members of the Conference some confidence that their concerns are receiving proper attention...

The Republican operative credited Johnson with accruing an impressive list of endorsements but said they could dry up as Members ponder Blunt’s possible candidacy and hedge their positions in a contest that will be decided by secret ballot. Senators are notorious for guaranteeing their vote to one Member in a leadership race and then voting the other way in the end.

“I wonder if, in the end, Ron Johnson doesn’t expect to win but is trying to force a discussion of the issues,” the Republican operative said. “He represents the younger guys’ views that the Senate isn’t functioning properly.”

Then there's the loyalty issue. People in leadership position are expected to vote the party line once a decision is made. One of the reason's Tom Coburn has resisted efforts to recruit him is that he likes being a free agent. And that's said to be an issue for Blount, too, who likes his independence.

Would Johnson be willing to give up his lunatic fringe, grandstanding ways, like threatening to object to unanimous consent requests and tie up the Senate over a point of personal picque, or being one of 12 to vote against an agreed-upon solution to keeping the government running this week? He may not even understand what is involved in being a leader, since he has no experience at it whatsoever.

  has this prediction about the guy it refers to as Senator Wacko:

I'd bet the GOP Caucus is going to ease Ron down a bit from his hallucinations. They'll likely suggest a more behind-the-scenes communications, private-sector, non-Washington background, career path in the Senate. In the land 'o crocodiles, the impatient barge into the middle of things and the crocs do what crocs have always done.

Published

September 29, 2011 - 2:33pm

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