Craig Lassig/AP Photo
Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican.
Political observers are noting the absence of Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota to the House Republican transition team.
Bachmann is founder of the House Tea Party Caucus and is one of the more popular House Republicans for her ability to serve up partisan red meat (in 2008 she questioned then-presidential candidate Barack Obama's patriotism, then backtracked.) She wants a leadership position in the soon-to-be Republican led Congress, specifically, the post of Republican Conference chairman.
But House Republican leaders have noticeably kept her name off the list of 22 Republicans on the transition team.
Instead, they chose her rival for the conference chairmanship, Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas for the transition group.
While Bachmann has a reputation for making accusations about Obama and Democrats that are frequently wide of the mark in terms of accuracy, Hensarling doesn't carry that baggage.
MinnPost.com also reports that Hensarling is seen as having more heft on the economic issues that House Republicans plan to make central to their majority than Bachmann.
It’s a case subtly but clearly made by Paul Ryan, the top Republican on the Budget Committee who cherishes his reputation as a thinking man’s lawmaker, and by Marsha Blackburn, a Tea Party Republican from Tennessee who expressed concerns about who could best and most reliably speak on her behalf.
“Jeb's economic expertise and strong ability to communicate are what we need in our Conference Chairman to articulate our unified commitment to get our country back on track,” Ryan said in a statement. “This position requires someone who has a command of these issues and has a history of successfully debating them.”
So they don't appear to be stiff-arming the Tea Party, House Republican leaders were careful to include as members on the transition team who were supported by the new, conservative grassroots movement — Tim Scott of South Carolina and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. Scott's a twofer since he's one of two black Republicans elected to the House last Tuesday.
Here's the list of GOP transition-team members:
Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-1)
Rep. John Campbell (CA-48)
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (WV-2)
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-3)
Rep. Tom Cole (OK-4)
Rep. Mike Conaway (TX-11)
Rep. David Dreier (CA-26)
Rep.-elect Cory Gardner (CO-4)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA-6)
Rep. Doc Hastings (WA-4)
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX-5)
Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-4)
Rep.-elect Adam Kinzinger (IL-11)
Rep. Buck McKeon (CA-25)
Rep. Candice Miller (MI-10)
Rep.-elect Martha Roby (AL-2)
Rep. Mike Rogers (MI-8)
Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1)
Rep.-elect Tim Scott (SC-1)
Rep. Pete Sessions (TX-32)
Rep. Pat Tiberi (OH-12)