Lessons in character

Giving in to bullying never wins a position of strength



January 8, 2023 - 2:51 PM

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks with reporters in the U.S. Capitol Building on Tuesday, Jan. 3. On Thursday evening, McCarthy still had not secured the position as Speaker of the House, despite 11 votes.(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

If he could rewind the day, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., probably would not have had his belongings moved into the U.S. Capitol’s ornate speaker’s office or had his website proclaim him speaker-elect on Monday.

At this writing, I’m guessing he’ll be confirmed as House speaker — eventually — but the optics of him physically assuming such an outcome before even the first votes were cast on Tuesday morning were damaging. 

Lesson No. 1: People don’t like presumptuousness.

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