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Rep. Jim Jordan

Jim Jordan: Why and why not?

We’re going to lay out some reasons you should take Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) speaker candidacy very seriously and some reasons why you should be skeptical.

Why you should take this seriously:

1) Unlike House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Jordan will take his bid for speaker to the House floor for a vote no matter what. He’s not one to back off of a leadership bid. He’ll make House Republicans vote for or against him publicly. And unlike other candidates, Jordan is a favorite of former President Donald Trump and the right. A vote against him could get you a primary challenger.

2) Right-wing heavyweights will go crazy for Jordan. Sean Hannity and other conservative talkers are sure to be on his side. Trump will also have his back, to the extent that matters.

3) Conservatives are going to back Jordan — and quickly. He won’t have the problems on the right that Scalise or former Speaker Kevin McCarthy had. Conservatives trust Jordan implicitly.

4) Unlike Scalise, Jordan has laid out a plan for how he wants to govern. Jordan told Republicans how he’d handle a shutdown threat and what his demands are when it comes to immigration policy. Republicans have been hungering for this.

5) Message discipline. Jordan is one of the most disciplined pols we know. Jordan picks a lane and stays in it. This is how he’ll be as speaker.

Why you should be very skeptical.

1) Moderates don’t like Jordan. We’re seeing that already, as we detailed above. Within moments of his getting into the race, there were five Republican no votes. Might those members flip? Sure. Yet the overall number may also balloon.

2) Jordan has a mega-lengthy list of controversial positions. Here’s one to jog your memory — Jordan and then Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) convinced Trump to plunge the federal government into the longest shutdown in history in 2018. And they got nothing for it.

3) Jordan leaves something to be desired on the fundraising front. He’s great as an individual fundraiser. But will he have any appeal to donors who cut seven- or eight-figure checks? McCarthy will surely help here.

4) Jordan has no history of big legislative accomplishments. Jordan understands policy minutiae, but he hasn’t been interested in doing deals at all.

5) Jordan has gone from back-bench rabble-rouser to the inner circle of power. But can he lead 220 colleagues and help them retain their majority in 2024? He doesn’t have a track record of being able to do this at any level.

What about Democrats? Some Republicans are now openly saying the onus is on Democrats to help the GOP get out of a mess of its own making. Democrats maintain they’re willing to help elect a new speaker — even a Republican one — but not without a cost. This has pretty much been their stance since McCarthy was hunting around for the votes to save his gavel.

But then, as now, Democratic leaders made clear it was on Republicans to reach out to them with an offer, not the other way around. We checked in with Democrats late Thursday night and this hasn’t changed.

Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio) has been talking about trying to work with Democrats to empower Speaker Pro Tem Patrick McHenry to pass legislation. And some Democrats are trying to draw up a plan to allow McHenry to act on certain legislative priorities.

There was some “preliminary and informal” outreach from Democrats to Republicans before Scalise dropped out of the speaker race on Thursday. To be clear, this isn’t at the leadership level — think a few tiers down — but top Democrats are certainly aware of the conversations. Those talks are largely on hold now as Democrats wait to see if Jordan can secure the speakership.

We’ve written about what Democrats broadly want — see our AM edition Wednesday — but the list includes raising the threshold on the motion to vacate, sharing power on the House Rules Committee, putting Ukraine and Israel aid bills on the floor and allowing vulnerable Democrats to pass their bills via suspension votes.

We spoke with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on this Thursday night. Here’s what he said:

— John Bresnahan, Jake Sherman and Heather Caygle

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