On Wednesday, as he came to grips with his shocking congressional primary loss to Randolph-Macon College Economics Professor Dave Brat, Cantor described McCarthy as his "good friend."
One might question the value of being endorsed by the guy who just got shellacked by 12 points after outspending an unknown opponent 50-1. But remember, this is the House Republican conference under discussion here.
Who is Kevin McCarthy?
As chief whip, McCarthy has been the least visible of the top three GOP House leaders, but his voting record makes it clear he is an old guard Establishment Republican who is likely to be far more responsive to Wall Street and K Street than to Main Street.
As the Washington Examiner's Philip Klein points out on Beltway Confidential, McCarthy is to the left of Cantor, a reality that should make his candidacy problematic for House Republicans.
"The American Conservative Union rated McCarthy at 72 percent compared with 84 percent for Cantor; Heritage Action ratings place Cantor at 53 percent and McCarthy at 42 percent; and Club for Growth had Cantor at 68 percent and McCarthy at 53 percent," Klein reports.
"Moving away from conservative groups, the National Journal rated Cantor the 80th most conservative member of the House, while McCarthy was 170th," Klein said. In other words, McCarthy fails the Reagan 80/20 rule.
The stupid party, again?
Just as disturbing from the perspective of Main Street and Tea Party GOPers is that McCarthy is determined to take the party in a direction certain to anger its grassroots, without whose energy and contributions there is no hope of turning the country around.
McCarthy was a very visible attendee at the posh Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton anti-Tea Party gathering earlier this year hosted by former Rep. Steve Latourette's Main Street Partnership.
Latourette is a bitter enemy of the Tea Party and has no obvious qualms about being financed in significant part by the Democratic Party's Big Labor masters.
Yanking defeat from the jaws of victory, again
The only apparent upside of selecting McCarthy as House majority leader is the naive expectation that doing so will somehow persuade the mainstream media to cover Republicans more positively.
Apparently, that strategy worked so well when the party picked moderates John McCain as its presidential nominee in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 that House Speaker John Boehner wants to apply it in 2014 when the GOP seems otherwise headed to a historic victory in November.
In that context, telling the grassroots to sit down and shut up while the smart guys in the Republican Establishment once again turn the party into what President Ronald Reagan called "a pale pastel" imitation of the Democrats makes perfect sense!
On today's washingtonexaminer.com
Watchdog/Richard Pollock: House panel subpoenas two new CFPB whistleblowers in workplace abuse probe.
Columnists/Byron York: GOP agenda is on hold until Cantor loss is assessed.
Columnists/Michael Barone: Cantor was defeated for breaking one old rule and two newer ones.
Beltway Confidential/Philip Klein: On the absurdity of replacing Eric Cantor with Kevin McCarthy as the GOP's House majority leader.
Beltway Confidential/Ashe Schow: Planned Parenthood didn't actually fire sex-counseling employee abortion group said it let go.
PennAve/Susan Ferrechio: Pete Sessions drops bid to succeed Eric Cantor.
Legal Newsline/Bryan Cohen: North Dakota AG issues orders against three Canadian firms.
In other news
Time Magazine: Bowe Bergdahl is back in the U.S.
The New York Times: Iraqi army was crumbling long before its current collapse.
Washington Free Beacon: Blame Obama first.
The Daily Caller: Hillary admits underestimating al Qaeda.
The American Conservative: The triumphs of Brent Bozell.
The Daily Beast: U.S. aircraft could strike Iraq tomorrow.
The American Prospect: Four fundamental economic facts Dave Brat missed.
Mother Jones: What the hell is happening in Iraq?
Hit & Run: This just smells bad.
Lowering the Bar: The emergency Sasquatch talk.
Talking Points Memo: Hillary jabs at NPR host over gay marriage.