Cantor Played It Safe
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Cantor Played It Safe

Regarding last week’s story on the primary defeat of Rep. Eric Cantor, “Tea Party Too Close For Jewish Comfort?” (June 20): In 2012, the Virginia U.S. Senate seat was vacated by retiring Democrat, Sen.
Jim Webb. The GOP had an excellent opportunity to win back the seat. Eric
Cantor opted to remain in Congress and the GOP nominated George Allen, who is
famously remembered as the senator who made a racist remark in 2006; Allen was
defeated in his re-election bid.

Although Cantor held his House seat in 2012, his playing-it-safe strategy cost
his party a Senate seat. He had none of the baggage that Allen had, and could
have ultimately had the opportunity to some day be a viable candidate for the
presidency. Returning Virginia to the GOP would have made Cantor the
darling of the GOP. (The GOP instead nominated the disgraced Allen, who
ultimately was defeated by a slim 52-48 percent margin.)

As a result, in
2014, Virginia’s two senators and governor are Democrats.
Cantor was banking on the hope that if he held his seat, he would have
been the favorite to be House speaker after the November 2014
elections.
It should be noted that the last House speaker to become president
was James K. Polk, who was the speaker in 1839, a mere 175 years ago.
If Cantor had won the 2012 Senate race, he would have been the
most powerful Jewish leader in the country.
But he ran not to lose, and in the process his timidity has subjected him to
a humiliating defeat, and has done great damage to Jewish Republicans and
other supporters of Israel and Jewish causes.

 

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