Traditionally, the job requirement is more policy-focused, working with the committee chairmen to chart longer-term strategy on legislation and setting the right time to bring bills up for a vote. McCarthy comes at the job with less of a policy background than his recent GOP predecessors had, but he has a sharper political focus than most of the other leaders, having played a lead recruiting role for the successful 2010 elections.

But McCarthy — from California’s farm-focused Central Valley — will have to work on fundraising, something that Cantor mastered over the years. Since the start of 2013, Cantor has raised more than $1.2 million from donors in the securities and financial services industry for his various political committees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics; McCarthy has raised just $355,000 from that key donor community.

Long enamored of social media and apps, McCarthy helped create a Web site in early 2010 that allowed voters to submit legislative ideas and then used some of that input to lead the drafting of the “Pledge to America,” the House GOP’s campaign agenda.