The Speakership Game Theory of Jordan vs. Scalise
Begun the speaker war has. And it's going to mean chaos for Republicans.
Reminder: No TNB tonight because we did the livestream on Tuesday.
The most important question in the speakership game is: How many players are there?
Back in January, Kevin McCarthy won the gavel because there were only two players: McCarthy and the GOP conference.
The incentives for the players were that McCarthy wanted to be speaker very badly—so badly that he was willing to endure anything to get the job. And the Republican conference had to have a speaker; there was no world in which they could conclude the game without naming one.
That’s why I was bullish on McCarthy’s prospects at the time, even when it looked dark for him. McCarthy wanted the job; the conference needed someone to take the job; there were no alternatives.
Looking forward to next week, the biggest driver of outcomes will be the number of players.
And this is where things look . . . not great for Republicans.