Eric Cantor, Boeing, and the GOP's new money problem

Cantor isn't the only loser from his stunning primary defeat

Cantor
(Image credit: (Alex Wong/Getty Images))

On Wednesday, following House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) shocking loss in a Republican primary race, political observers learned that Cantor spent more of his campaign chest at steakhouses ($169,000) than victorious opponent David Brat spent on his entire campaign ($122,000). Financial-markets watchers learned that Boeing's steep, 2.3 percent loss on the New York Stock Exchange was also attributable to Cantor's loss*, making Boeing the "biggest loser" after Cantor, as Guggenheim Securities analyst Chris Krueger explained to Bloomberg News.

What do those two stories have in common? Money, obviously, but also an old proverb ascribed to Jesus: No one can serve two masters. Cantor was apparently unusually skilled in straddling the money-centric camp in his party (Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street, K Street lobbyists) and the ideology-centered wing (Tea Party, social conservatives), but perhaps the most telling explanatory anecdote on why Cantor lost is that on the morning of the primary, he was meeting with well-heeled GOP donors at a Capitol Hill Starbucks.

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