Eric Cantor wasted to be Speaker of the House. In the process, he forgot to represent Virginia District 7, from Erick Erickson, Redstate:
Cantor lost his race because he was running for Speaker of the House of Representatives while his constituents wanted a congressman. The tea party and conservatives capitalized on that with built up distrust over Cantor’s other promises and made a convincing case Cantor could not be trusted on immigration either. By trying to be both a Virginia congressman and a worthy successor to the Speaker in K-Street’s eyes, Cantor made it easy for conservatives to mount an under the radar case against him.
And Professor William A. Jacobson, Legal Insurrection:
The night of, but particularly the day after, there is much fine punditry as to why Cantor lost. And much political spin.
Looking back, with the complete benefit of hindsight, it seems that something changed along the way for Cantor. I can’t put a precise date on it, but looking back on our posts about Cantor, I’d put the change sometime in late 2011, after Republicans gained control of the House, Cantor became Majority Leader, and he set his sights on even higher positions of power.
Until then, our posts reflect Cantor as a tough fighter, the “bad cop” to John Boehner’s “good cop” in fighting Obamacare and the Democratic agenda. Cantor was the guy designated to take on Obama directly in the final weeks prior to Obamacare being signed into law
And from a constiuent of VA – 7, from Federalist:
For almost as long as I’ve lived here, which is coming up on 20 years now, the purpose of the seventh district has been to re-elect Eric Cantor every two years. It’s a strongly Republican district that spans across a very conservative stretch of rural Central Virginia, from the Richmond suburbs to Culpeper. So what were we going to do, vote for a Democrat? No, we were going to vote for Cantor.
And Cantor knew it. Because he didn’t have to worry too much about getting re-elected every two years, his political ambition was channeled into rising through the hierarchy of the House leadership. Rise he did, all the way up to the #2 spot, and he was waiting in the wings to become Speaker of the House.
I wonder if Virginia’s third senator is sweating bullets now.