This writer recently wrote a commentary entitled “Will GOP Leaders Become Bob Michelized?” Unfortunately, during the past couple of weeks, the answer seems to be in the affirmative. The headline referred to the former Republican House Minority Leader, Congressman Bob Michel, R-IL, who was perfectly content to position his party in the minority for his entire 14 years as GOP leader in the House of Representatives. That is, until an upstart Republican Congressman from Georgia, Newt Gingrich, warned Michel that he would challenge him for Republican leader during the next congressional leader elections. Michel promptly announced that he would not run for reelection in 1994.
Meanwhile, because House Minority Whip Gingrich organized a massive and historic issues-oriented campaign during the election of 1994, including a “Contract with America,” he not only became leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, but Gingrich became Speaker of the House.