Cool! Tom Emmer’s Speaker Nomination Lasted Only Slightly Longer Than ‘Avengers: Endgame’

After five long votes, Republicans nominated Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) to be their next Speaker. He was forced to drop out four hours later.

Cool! Tom Emmer’s Speaker Nomination Lasted Only Slightly Longer Than ‘Avengers: Endgame’
Photo:Getty Images

One fateful fall afternoon, House Republicans—or some of them, at least—coalesced to nominate Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) to be their next Speaker. The time was around 12:30 p.m. or so on Tuesday. By 3 p.m., CNN and other outlets reported Emmer’s bid was “on the verge of collapse.” And by 4:30 p.m., Emmer stepped down. His nomination was just about four hours old at the time of death. For comparison, it would take you about 3 hours and 20 minutes to watch 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame,” including previews.

The decision appears to have come after former President Trump and his allies reportedly began aggressively whipping the vote against Emmer during a brief break in the day-long caucus meeting. Following ongoing reports about Emmer’s bid being doomed, once the break concluded and members reconvened, Punchbowl’s Jake Sherman reported that Emmer “just briskly walked out of the Longworth House Office Building” where the caucus meeting was being held—an odd move considering “the meeting is ongoing and he’s gone.”

Mere minutes later, it was reported that Emmer had dropped.

*Record Scratch* You’re probably wondering how we got here.

Since a handful of House Republicans banded together with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the Speakership earlier this month, the caucus has been in shambles. In the last two weeks, they teed up Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and then Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). This week they sifted through nine different candidates before landing on Emmer after five long ballots.

Emmer’s majority was always (or, for four precious hours) tenuous; a roll call vote showed a whopping 26 members objected to him, and within a couple of hours of his nomination, former President Trump chimed in to call him a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only). Even without Trump’s voice on the matter, the aggressively pro-Trump faction of the caucus already objected to Emmer because of previous alleged comments he made calling on Republican candidates to distance themselves from Trump. (Emmer’s denied this.) Others sharply objected because he supported the Respect for Marriage Act which *checks notes* creates protections for same-sex and interracial marriage. And others objected because, in 2021, Emmer voted to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election—even though he later joined an insane lawsuit to overturn the results in a handful of swing states where Trump lost.

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) holds his head in apparent frustration. Photo:Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

Per CNN, Trump allies set to work “whipping” the vote against Emmer to encourage holdouts and call on those who supported him to flip. In the hours between the afternoon roll call vote and the caucus’ return from a two-hour break at 4 p.m., members revealed that Emmers had failed to change anyone’s mind.

As for what happens next… I don’t think anyone knows, really, least of all House Republicans. The nomination process will begin anew, as it has a bunch of times now in the last two weeks. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), Emmer’s top competitor to win the nomination Tuesday morning, was being floated by some, but sources are already implying that Johnson’s bid would also be dead in the water. Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OKla.) is reportedly another name to watch. Per CNN, prospective speaker candidates were given until 5:30 p.m. to announce their bids, with a candidate forum set for 6 and a new vote scheduled for Wednesday.

Last week Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), who was also running for Speaker on Monday, said the ongoing circus “makes us [Republicans] look like a bunch of idiots.” (I repeat: He said it, not me!) Earlier this month Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) seemingly called the caucus “a circus” and the nominating process “utter chaos.” McCarthy on Monday called it “embarrassing.” Can’t say I disagree, lads.

Whatever happens next—which I’m starting to doubt will include the confirmation of a new Speaker in the Year of Our Lord 2023—I have to hope McCarthy, Scalise, Jordan, and Emmer all just happen to have humiliation kinks; someone, at least, should be enjoying watching our halls of power descend into utter tomfoolery as global humanitarian crises worsen and the world burns.

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