Eric Cantor wants to be the first Republican Jewish … what?


Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is the first Republican Jewish whip (apparently, anyway — are we sure there’s no predecessor, back to the party’s creation?).

According to this Politico front-pager, his caucus wonders what’s next:

Those close to Cantor don’t deny his ambitions — but even they are uncertain of his next move. If Republicans take control of the House in November, the 47-year-old Cantor would become the youngest majority leader in more than 60 years. That would put him next in line to become speaker if and when Boehner leaves.

The choice is tougher if the GOP falls short. If it does, sources close to Cantor say he would have to decide very quickly whether to stay in the House — and hope for a Republican victory in 2012 — or turn his attention to running for the Senate or for governor. At this point, those sources don’t expect Cantor to both hold a top leadership job and prepare for a different office.

Running for higher offices would be a difficult call. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is seen as the GOP front-runner for governor, and other Virginia Republicans, including former Sen. George Allen, have their eye on the Senate race, too.

“He’ll be the first Jewish Republican something,” a House GOP lawmaker said of Cantor. The “first Jewish Republican speaker, the first Jewish Republican vice president or first Jewish Republican president.”

“He could be any of those three,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who came to Capitol Hill with Cantor in 2001. “He always has been fairly closemouthed about what he wants to be, but he could be any of those things.”

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