The Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has often shown a willingness to compromise, but for more than two years he has been stymied by a small and unruly group of right-wingers, led by his deputy, Eric Cantor.
Cantor is the House Majority Leader, which means that he is responsible for the mundane business of managing the schedule, the House floor, and committees, where legislation is generally written. He has used his position to transform himself into the Party's chief political strategist. Cantor is frequently talked about as a future Speaker; he could even be a future President, some of his aides say. Since the election, as Republicans have confronted Obama in a series of budgetary battles -- another will unfold this week -- few have tried as hard as Cantor to reposition and redefine the defeated party.