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If you have nine candidates for Speaker you have no candidates for speaker

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I would call this the political equivalent of a “let’s remember some guys” blog except that you would have had to ever have known who they were to remember them:

The House GOP’s enormous speaker field is officially set, with nine Republicans seeking to somehow unify their splintered party after almost three weeks without a leader.

It’s the most crowded field since former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s fall 19 days ago. The latest round of candidates includes current GOP leaders — like Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Vice Chair Mike Johnson (R-La.) — as well as more surprising rank and file members like Reps. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.). Another last-minute addition, Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), who serves as GOP policy chair, raised eyebrows on Sunday.

House Budget Chair Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), who had been encouraged to run by fellow Texans, announced Sunday that he won’t. “I’m standing down for this round,” Arrington told POLITICO. “Hope we get there.”

The full GOP conference will hear from all nine members on Monday night for a candidate forum, followed by an internal vote Tuesday morning. And all will be under intense pressure to present a pitch that can bring together an exasperated House GOP that is rife with division.

“This is my tenth term in Congress. This is probably one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen,” House Foreign Affairs Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told ABC News on Sunday. “We’re essentially shut down as a government.”

McCarthy, who was stripped of the gavel earlier this month after working with Democrats to avert a shutdown, also called the chaos “embarrassing” for the party and the country, stressing the need to elect Emmer — his No. 3 deputy — next week.

Emmer has thus far avoided getting the ultimate kiss of death — an endorsement from Elise Stefanik — but is still hard to see his candidacy going anywhere, and I have no idea who the runner-up would even be. The aristocrats!

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