Monday, January 5, 2009

Cantor playing key role in stimulus talks

Virgina Congressman Eric Cantor was one of four Republican leaders invited to attend the meeting with Obama today, and afterward, had this to say:

"The next step should be, if he is going to operate in good faith - along with Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi - they will produce a bill that has no pork barrel spending, no earmarks, no waste. We cannot afford another trillion dollars in spending to basically go down the tubes and not have the impact long term.

This is great exposure for the newcomer, and also, a difficult assignment. Cantor has to signal willingness to work with Obama, while considering the implications of that cooperation.

Already, GOP Senators like Mitch McConnell are hedging strangely on Obama's stimulus plan. Strange, because it includes much larger tax cuts than imagined only a week ago, but not so strange if you were subject to the daily, stentorian barrages of "Obama's a socialist! Obama's radical, left-wing socialist agenda!" and couldn't appear to actually support any part, no matter how economically generous, of the Marxist's agenda.

Where does this leave Cantor? Between a rock and a hard place on center stage with the lights camera action about to start, a major player for today and 2012.