Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who embraces a more welcoming immigration policy than does much of the Republican-nominating electorate, may construe Cantor’s defeat as a discouraging augury concerning any presidential aspirations Bush might have. Cantor was damaged by the accusation that he favors “amnesty” for the more than 11 million illegal immigrants. Actually, he may have done more damage to himself by seeming to take multiple and contradictory positions on immigration.
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan may be weighing a probable ascent in the House leadership against the uncertainties of seeking the Republican presidential nomination. The removal of Cantor, a formidable rival for the office of speaker once John Boehner relinquishes it, may give Ryan reason to remain in Congress. (Cantor announced yesterday he will resign his leadership post July 31.)
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who hardly has an insufficiency of audacity, will be further emboldened in his presidential ambitions because Tea Party support helped to propel David Brat, a 49-year-old college professor, to victory over Cantor. Never mind that Brat, who speaks equably about making Washington work, seems to eschew Cruz’s confrontational style.