Not long ago I was invited to attend a reception hosted by David McSweeney, the Republican nominee for 8th district Congress, which honored Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Always impressed as I have been with McSweeney, I was startledabsolutely startledto see and hear an out-of-state Republican Congressman who matches McSweeney with fresh insights and courage. At 39, Cantor, from Richmond, is a successful businessman, was elected in 2000, is the onlybelieve it or notthe only Jewish Republican member of Congress. Pro-life and socially conservative, Cantor is a brilliant member of Congress and deputy GOP Whip. Hearing the two of them discuss the issues is like being in the same room with a very young Milton Friedman and a youthful Henry Hyde. The only thing they disagreed about was term limits: McSweeney pledged to bow out after six years, Cantor determined to stay longer. When you compare them to the usual run-of-the mill products the Republicans produce on C-SPAN, its wonderful to feel excited again about party prospects.
Cantor is a member of Ways and Means. His trip to Chicago was to encourage 8th district voters to elect McSweeney. The two of them would give great hope to national Republicans who are beginning to think that the House GOP is getting tired and burned out. Then when you consider the prospect of electing Peter Roskam in the 6th you get hopeful once more.