This Quality Makes for the Best Speaker

f11photo /
f11photo /

When looking at and for leaders, whether political or not, there are certain qualities pretty much all of us can usually agree we are looking for. You know, things like honesty, courage, and kindness. These, of course, are just a few. When looking at specific positions, more particular characteristics may be needed.

Naturally, when looking for a new leader and Speaker for the House of Representatives, there is much to consider.

And apparently, the man assumed to be a shoo-in for the seat, former House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, was lacking at least one critical quality.

For Arizona’s GOP Representative Andy Biggs, that lacking quality is humility.

If you didn’t already know, Biggs is one of 20 GOP members who have voted against McCarthy in the six votes to choose a new Speaker thus far. And it is his prerogative that those in the highest positions should be about as humble as George Washington, our very first president. For him, that means ambition like that of McCarthy is dangerous.

In a tweet on Wednesday, he recounted that Washington hadn’t wanted to become president. Neither did he want to be involved in the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention. These are quite well-known facts, too. Both before and after the beginning of the United States, Washington made it clear to those surrounding him that he really wanted no part in leading the nation, and he definitely didn’t want the politics that went with it.

It wasn’t because he thought it was too taxing and didn’t want to trouble himself. Instead, it was because he didn’t think of himself so highly as to become the first and highest-ranking official of our young country.

In fact, before we even got to that point in history, it was reported that Washington didn’t even want the role of commander of the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War either. But he eventually agreed to those positions because his peers wanted him to lead. They pushed him towards it and encouraged him in his endeavors. And no doubt, they continued to be a guiding force throughout his presidency and years in command during the war.

Perhaps that’s one of the many reasons why Washington and our founding documents insist on checks and balances in each branch of the government and why so many support positions (the presidential cabinet) were created.

But as Biggs has pointed out, McCarthy isn’t like that at all. Yes, I’m sure he does fairly well at utilizing those under him, his aides, colleagues, and such. But after six votes, all of which he has lost, he still refused to remove his name from the hat of would-be Speaker.

You’d think losing six consecutive votes would create a bit of humility, right? Apparently, it hasn’t.
And Biggs isn’t the only one to notice McCarthy’s healthy dose of ambition compared to his lack of humility.

Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz said, “Maybe the right person for the job of Speaker isn’t someone who wants it so bad. Maybe the right person isn’t somebody who has sold shares of themselves for a decade to get it.”

It’s also known that he’s wanted the position for some time. Naturally, he couldn’t have it while the Democrats were in charge, and so he waited, biding his time.

But that brings me to another point, time.

He’s known since early November that the Speakership would be up for grabs. He’s known for two months that if he were to assume that seat, he’d need to acquire the right number of votes.

And yet, he hasn’t.

As some would say, this alone is sign enough that McCarthy shouldn’t lead the House. After all, a leader is supposed to deliver, right? They are supposed to get stuff done. And yet, it’s been two months, and McCarthy hasn’t been able to deliver on this goal.

Byron Donalds said, “Bro, you got to close the deal.”

And if he can’t, then it’s time he stepped aside and let someone else try their hand at it.

Maybe Gaetz’s choice of Speaker should put his name in. Then again, I doubt Donald Trump would win a humility award, either.

McCarthy finally closed the deal, but perhaps that’s not a good thing after all?