LARRY KUDLOW: The whole world is watching the House speaker vote


Larry Kudlow: The 2023 House speaker vote is about personality, not policies

FOX Business host Larry Kudlow discusses the House speaker vote, the history behind the motion to vacate the chair and what’s ahead for the GOP on ‘Kudlow.’

Well, my Republican friends in the House didn't exactly hit the ground running today, but they are making a New Year's splash — that’s for sure. The whole world is watching, for better or worse.  

As you know, I've been a strong supporter of Kevin McCarthy who I think absolutely has earned his spurs to become speaker of the house.  

He is a conservative. Many times on this show, hundreds of times on other programs and probably thousands of times on the campaign trail, Kevin McCarthy has stood for limited government, lower spending, supply-side tax cuts, energy independence, ending the regulatory wars against business and fossil fuels, closing the border with Mexico, tough on China, staunch supporter of parents and so-forth and so-on — right down the line.  

What's going on here is about personalities, not policies and to me that's the worst type of politics there is.  As of this report, Mr. McCarthy has lost the first two rounds of voting, suffering 19 nay votes in both cases, It's impossible to predict this process.  

The 19 nay votes from the second ballot, by the way, supported Jim Jordan, who is a great friend and fabulous conservative leader, but who also nominated Kevin McCarthy on that second ballot.  So, go figure! What's going on here?  



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I have no doubt this will be resolved and the GOP House will begin in earnest to block Joe Biden's radical policies that have contributed so much to American decline in just two years.  That's why the voters put the GOP in control in order to provide a check on Biden extremism.  Please don't forget just how important is the power of the purse, where all money bills — including taxes — originate in the House, now controlled by Republicans.  

Actually, just to lighten up a little bit on this story, there's some fun historical context. Now, in the modern era, the last multi-ballot vote for Republican speaker was in 1923, when Massachusetts Republican Fredrick Gillett was elected speaker on the 9th ballot — 1923.  

Gillett was Calvin Coolidge's man. Don't forget: Coolidge was the tough-minded governor of Massachusetts, who fired the Boston cops when they illegally went on strike.  Coolidge pushed Gillett over the line. Two years later, Gillett was elected senator for Massachusetts and was succeeded by Ohio's great Nicholas Longworth, who ruled the House with an iron fist for many years.  

Now, for you history buffs, Longworth was married to President Theodore Roosevelt's daughter Alice, who always kept his name and for all those years was known as Alice Roosevelt Longworth — the curmudgeonly D.C. socialite who almost never had a good word for anybody. No matter which political party.  

I know it's a bit of a stretch in terms of our discussion, but in the summer of 1969 yours truly served as a summer intern in the Longworth House office building.  You can see how hard I'm trying to connect myself to one of my heroes, Calvin Coolidge. I know it's a reach and I recall Coolidge rejected me as a research assistant, but I still think he was a great president.  

By the way, Kevin McCarthy has acceded to a Freedom Caucus demand that permit a vacate-the-chair vote of no confidence if only 5 Republican House members raise their hand for that.

By the way, this idea of vacating the speaker’s chair with only 5 votes from the floor started with — wait for it… wait a little longer… no don't Google it… started with Thomas Jefferson.  He did so when he was President of the Senate as John Adams' Vice President and he wrote the "vacate the chair" rule in 1800. Not even I was around then. I'll admit it upfront.  


The sun sets behind the U.S. Capitol on November 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.  (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images / Getty Images)

So, how is all this going to end? 

I think a solid Republican House leader will emerge and that person will stand up for conservative principles and stop Joe Biden's central planners, radical climate changers and big government socialists.  

That's how it's going to end and the country will benefit. And that's why I can look you all straight in the eye and wish you a Happy New Year!

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the January 03, 2023, edition of "Kudlow." 

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