The Washington Post has a piece up today that looks at the future of moderate Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, some of whom arrived perhaps a bit overshadowed by the hype of some other GOP candidates who rode the "tea party wave" into office:
For all the ink spilled on the success of the conservative-leaning tea parties and their chosen candidates, the winners last Election Day included a host of centrist GOP lawmakers like [Charles] Bass, the former president of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership whose grandfather helped start the progressive Republican movement a century ago.
"There's a misperception" that the new Republicans in Congress are all conservative and all political neophytes, Bass said in a recent interview. "To say that the freshman class is a 'tea party class' I think oversimplifies the unique qualifications of a lot of these members."
Bass notes that many freshmen are experienced politicians like him. But how many are moderates?
As things settle in with the new Congress, the dynamics of how the 'moderates' will fit in, and what power as a voting block they will have, if any, will be very interesting to watch:
Moderates are "clearly the minority of the majority," said Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (Ohio), a Tuesday Group member. "But there is also a recognition that without" the centrist lawmakers, Republicans wouldn't have a majority.
The Post article mentions that the moderate "Tuesday Group" will be meeting this week (but on a Wednesday, since most lawmakers won't arrive in town until Tuesday night) and interest among freshman GOP congressmen has been good - not sure if our new Congressman Bob Dold from the 10th District plans to join, but it would certainly not surprise me, as Dold has modeled himself after now-Senator Mark Kirk, who was a leader in the Tuesday Group.
Where will Bob Dold go from here, and what will be his legislative agenda? The self-described social moderate and fiscal conservative will have many eyes upon him looking from back home as he finds his way through Washington. Will he vote to repeal ObamaCare or seek a more centrist approach? Other upcoming issues like immigration reform might also be a challenge to set a middle course, especially under pressure from the more conservative members of the GOP. Voting early and often to reduce federal spending and the deficit, where Dold can showcase his more conservative outlook, will be a lot easier.
Thoughts on where Dold should/could/will go in the first few months of the new Congress?
UPDATED: This afternoon, the Pioneer Press has a nice piece on how Bob Dold will be approaching the ObamaCare repeal/modification issue... and some of the legislation will apparently have Bob Dold's name on it! Read it.