(First in a series? You tell me, dear readers)
The Speaker of the House is not constitutionally required to be a member of the House. So a future Democratic majority could draft Rahm Emanuel directly into service as Speaker without Emanuel needing to primary (please please) LWB Idol Tom Geoghegan for his old House seat. Unlikely to happen, right? Because even (maybe especially) after the pathetic performance of both houses through much of the Bush years, we can expect the House to show enough jealousy in defending its own institutional power not to put an outsider in the driver’s seat. And if not that, we can definitely expect individual members to show enough jealousy in defending their personal ambitions not to let somebody leapfrog to the top of the party leadership, even (maybe especially) if it’s a former congressman who bolted to run the White House.
But are there scenarios where this could happen? Republicans wide a wave of discontent over the still-terrible economy and frustration that Obama’s (GOP-engineered) legislative failures to take back the House in a few years, but John Boehner and enough of the guys around him flame out that a party turns its lonesome eyes to Newt Gingrich? Or Joe the Plumber?