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House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy

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The New York Times’ long profile of House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy will get wide readership today, and very mixed reactions, especially to its implied theme that McCarthy is walking the GOP House freshmen back from their platforms rather than funneling their convictions into leadership.

McCarthy has obviously granted a lot of access to the paper’s Robert Draper, just as Darrell Issa did with the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza (and General McChrystal did with Rolling Stone’s Michael Hasting.)

The lure of the profile is so enormous, especially when coupled with a brand name of Manhattan-Beltway elite media or one of its west coast cousins, that few people in the public eye can resist, or even lay down important conditions. (Full disclosure–I went to the dance with the New Yorker in 2005.)

But conservative Republicans in elected office never win in this setting —never. Their staffs fall in love with the idea and then on the day of publication they wonder why the boss has the office door closed. Answer: It never turns out how you had imagined it.


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