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Speakerology: Final Four

Who Wants It Most? Clearly, Jan Schakowsky

If the ability to mobilize supporters is any evidence of one’s career path, then Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) may want to look even further than the Speaker’s gavel. In round one of Roll Call’s Speakerology bracket, in which we ask readers to vote for our nominees to be a future Speaker of the House, Schakowsky campaigned so hard that the vote totals have become meaningless.

Schakowsky wiped the floor with Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D), even though the Tennessean did as well as any other entrant. But the Illinois Democrat wasn’t going to lose this fight, and to ensure victory, her office started an e-mail chain reaction. “[W]e want to do a grassroots GOTV (Get Out the Vote) campaign to make sure Jan wins,” her office wrote in an e-mail, which according to spokesman Nadeam Elshami, was circulated among the “Jan Fans.” “She realizes how important this contest was,” Elshami told Roll Call. “The network was ignited. She’s an organizer and she proved it. … The first GOTV was successful.”

In other results, Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.) blew past Rep. Rob Portman (Ohio) in the GOP leadership bracket, setting up an all-Whip contest when he takes on Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in the Final Four. Hoyer pulled out a victory over Democratic Caucus Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.). On the rank-and-file side, Schakowsky faces Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), who not surprisingly had his own legion of fans out in force, giving him a win over Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.).

So now it’s time to vote again. Send us your selections for the winners of this round and return to this page next week to see who will face off in the finals.

E-mail your vote for the winner in each matchup by 5 p.m. Tuesday to: afterthoughts@rollcall.com.

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