Ed Royce, the Fullerton Republican congressman dreaming of taking over Rep. Barney Frank's House financial services committee, has captured a powerful ally: Sarah Palin.
The new alliance apparently wasn't based on Royce's competence but because he is not Spencer Bachus, a more senior Alabama Republican congressman who is also seeking to chair the important committee.
According to David Corn in today's online issue of Mother Jones magazine, Palin doesn't like Bachus and has placed her "finger--or fist--on the scale for Royce" in the GOP battle.
I saw Royce and Palin share the stage in a pre-election Anaheim rally for congressional candidate Van Tran, but the former Alaska governor and likely 2012 presidential candidate didn't mention Royce or the struggle for control of the House committee.
Corn reports that Palin's support for Royce, the underdog, is payback for Bachus saying, "Sarah Palin cost us control of the Senate," a reference to voter rejection of Palin-supported candidates such as Christine O'Donnell, who declared that she was not a witch during the race.
But Corn observes that Palin's attack on Bachus included "a tremendous flip-flop." She slammed him for supporting the Wall Street bailout, something she now says a "commonsense conservative" would not have backed. The assertion was dumbfounding because, Corn notes, "Palin was for the bank bailout before she was against it . . . She had once backed the Wall Street bailout as necessary to deal with a crisis; now she was decrying it as an assault on free enterprise . . . Perhaps the next time Palin goes on Fox News, someone can ask her to explain her acrobatic reversal on this key economic matter."
Regardless of the history here, the obvious beneficiary of the Palin-Bachus spat is Royce, whose rise will give Orange County its most powerful DC figure since Christopher Cox helped lead the nation into economic disaster as the bumbling chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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