The competition is getting revved up between Rep Jeb Hensarling and Rep Michelle Bachmann for Conference Chair within the new Republican majority in the House.
Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn endorsed Hensarling in his bid to become the fourth-highest ranking Republican in the 112th Congress. Blackburn chose to endorse Hensarling over Bachmann, and intends to whip up support for the former Republican Study Committee chairman, her spokesman said.
"Members casting a vote for Conference Chair aren't deciding which is the true conservative candidate. We are deciding which true conservative we trust to speak for us. Michele has brought great energy to our party and I know she will continue to do so. Jeb and I came to Congress together and we have enjoyed a productive collaboration for many years. I trust Jeb's knowledge, experience, and judgment when I vote for who will speak for me,” Blackburn said in a statement to The Hill.
Blackburn's endorsement and her commitment to actively work the issue is all you need to read. Hensarling will win. Blackburn, herself a darling of the Tea Party, particularly the female Tea Partiers, is a hard working Conservative Republican who is quite level-headed in her political fights. Her role and visibility in the party has been growing. Unlike Bachmann, Blackburn has not tried to co-op Tea Party power. You may remember that last Spring Bachmann made headlines for forming a Tea Party caucus and declaring herself the defacto leader. It looked at the time to be little more than a publicity stunt and hasn't really gone anywhere since its inception. Blackburn welcomes Tea Party support but is loyal to her Republican roots.
That is how it should be. The Tea Party has a natural home within the GOP because of the fiscal issues. Once elected as Republicans, the candidates who enjoyed strong Tea Party support have an obligation to help guide the GOP back to basics of conservatism.
Hensarling has the backing of Rep Paul Ryan and Rep Eric Cantor.
This is Hensarling's House website. The website touts his fiscal conservatism and the need to reign in earmarks. "He is the second ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee and a member of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform".
Both of these Representatives are strong conservatives. There is no point in others arguing who is the more conservative of the two. Bachmann is a bomb-thrower who tends to divide support while Hensarling is a quiet leader. Perhaps in this volatile time in politics, some quiet leadership would be welcomed.