Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Raul Labrador didn't have colleagues' basic contact info

David Drucker of the Washington Examiner has discovered the "bafflingly simple reason" conservative Rep. Raul Labrador is off to a slow start in his quest to defeat Rep. Kevin McCarthy for House Majority Leader:

"Labrador, a Tea Party favorite, didn't have basic contact information for many of his colleagues, such as their direct cell phone numbers. Republican aides said Labrador's staff was calling their offices and asking for it.

Many also said it was the first time he'd reached out to them — a crucial contrast with McCarthy, who has cultivated relationships across a broad cross-section of the Republican conference." [Washington Examiner]

It would be easy to mock Labrador for being unprepared, but I think this speaks to a fundamental conundrum facing the Tea Party.

Conservative outsiders want one of their own to take over the House Leadership, but this is really a catch-22: The kind of person who keeps the cell numbers for 223 House Republicans conveniently on hand is, by definition, not an outsider.