Someone tell Jim Jordan’s team about that “stones in glass houses” saying

Posted on Oct 12, 2023

Yesterday, for a brief moment, it looked like House Republicans had gotten their sh*t together. They went into conference, took a vote on who should be the next Speaker, Rep. Steve Scalise won (not by a lot), Ohio’s own Rep. Jim Jordan lost (not by a lot), and everything should have moved forward like clockwork so that stand-in Speaker Rep. Patrick McHenry could go back to battling the Biden administration on dumb financial regulation.

But it turns out that Scalise doesn’t have the requisite number of votes to win a floor vote in the House (yet?). And it turns out that even though Jordan is saying he’ll do a nominating speech for Scalise, he and/or his allies are behind the scenes still trying to torpedo Scalise in an effort to elevate Jordan.

Here’s the super-smart opposition research they’re shoving around to try to accomplish that:

A couple things here.

  • Only DC insiders are likely to have a good read on why “OMG money spent at the Capital Grille” is a piece of opposition research in this context. That’s because in DC, only lobbyists and their friends and the people they are lobbying (like whoever is pushing this around on Jordan’s behalf) eat at the Capital Grille. So whoever is pushing this is probably in the same ballpark as Scalise, Jordan, and whoever else in terms of their insider-y-ness.
  • I seriously doubt that Scalise was buying the lobbyists steaks, which is what the comment implies. If he was not making the lobbyists buy their own steaks, then he is quite stupid, and we have a different issue. But the likelihood here is that Jordan allies are the ones being stupid by suggesting he spent this money currying favor with lobbyists. That isn’t how lobbying works; the lobbyists curry favor with you, though not by buying Capital Grille steaks because that kind of thing generally falls afoul of lobbying rules.
  • Jim Jordan also spends committee cash on steak. I checked, and you can, too, by searching the website. What’s interesting is that his expenditures don’t appear to be related to raising money for himself, or other members of the party. They appear to be just on, well, him or his campaign staff eating… expensive DC steak. Here’s what he’s spent at any restaurant with “steak” or “grill” in the name, plus super bougie Fogo De Chao, since 2021. (Disregard Moe’s– that’s burritos, not steak; sorry Moe’s, no offense intended).

So, how much daylight is there between Jordan and Scalise on the “DC insider” thing? Maybe some, but I’m guessing if Scalise was spending what amounts to $40k a year on fundraisers that hauled in way more than that for him and more especially the NRCC, Members are more likely to see that as a good thing than a bad thing. Maybe Jim Jordan should have been doing more party-building over the last few years if he seriously wanted to compete for the Speakership, including spending money on fundraisers at DC steakhouses.