In Virginia, the Tea Party takes Eric Cantor down
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In a Congress full of Machiavellian princes, majority leader Eric Cantor always counted himself a few steps ahead and twice as smart. He led Republicans to control of the House in 2010, scuttled a grand-bargain budget deal with President Obama a year later and steadily climbed the rungs of power. The speakership was next, clearly within his sight on June 10, when Cantor’s whole world imploded in a Republican-primary vote the power brokers never saw coming.
His error was as old as kingdoms. As Cantor mastered D.C.’s inside game, he lost touch with the people of central Virginia. “The reason we won this campaign–there’s just one reason,” his novice opponent, Dave Brat, told supporters after the upset.