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Kevin McCarthy’s quest to become speaker of the House of Representatives is a master class in how not to negotiate.   He became what New York Times columnist Paul Krugman calls “speaker in name only” after fifteen ballots over five days.  Election of a speaker normally is a routine event, and this was the first time a speaker was not elected on the first ballot in the last 100 years.

The botched negotiations not only weakened Mr. McCarthy but, paradoxically, they also may weaken the Republican rebels who repeatedly extracted concessions from him.

What did Mr. McCarthy do

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