From Politico: This sums up perfectly what transpired: Cantor was trying to set an example. Instead, he became an example.
It’s one of the most stunning losses in modern House politics, and completely upends the GOP hierarchy in both Virginia and Washington. Cantor enjoyed a meteoric rise that took him from chief deputy whip, to minority whip to majority leader in the span of 13 years.
Cantor was seen by many as the next speaker of the House, biding his time until Ohio Rep. John Boehner wanted to retire.
But now, Cantor has just six months left in Congress. He is the second incumbent to lose this primary season: 91-year-old Texas Rep. Ralph Hall was the first.
The loss will ripple across Washington, too: from political consultants who worked for Cantor to his aides who decamped for K Street, there will be reverberations.
Minutes after Cantor left, immigration protestors stormed the ballroom to push for reform. Cantor was gone — he had been whisked into a black SUV with his wife. Photographers and reporters were kept out of the way.
In the run-up to the primary, Cantor’s supporters said they expected him to win with more than 60 percent of the vote. For the past few months, his D.C. allies were wondering how big they could goose the margins.
In April, Brat supporters vastly outnumbered Cantor allies at local GOP meetings. Then in May, tea party fueled activists knocked off Cantor’s choice for local GOP chair in Cantor’s home base of Henrico County. But Cantor’s aides consistently brushed off the challenge, telling reporters and fellow GOP aides that the contest didn’t merit the media coverage it was getting
Brat severely trailed in fundraising, pulling in $200,000 this cycle compared to Cantor’s $2 million.
But Cantor took the primary challenge seriously.
He held nothing back in April and May: the incumbent spent more than $120,000 printing campaign mailers, $13,000 on yard signs, $370,000 in campaign ads and $30,000 on polling.
National Republicans turned out door-knockers – Cantor’s entire political operation was thrust into full throttle. He was trying to set an example, his allies say. Instead, he became an example.
I had some fun tweeting Cantor tonight (in response to his tweet from last year). This GOPe leader wasted his time on this rather than actually worrying about us: