There's a report by Tim Whitmire of the Associated Press that Rep. Patrick McHenry, North Carolina's Representative from the 10th District, will be the designated Republican pit bull in the next Congress. Whitmire's report highlights McHenry's past role as the sharp point of the spear in attacking Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia and claiming that the timing of Mark Foley's downfall was engineered by the Democrats.
McHenry, at 31, is both the House's youngest member and one of its most conservative. However, what really sets him apart is his enthusiasm for fierce outspoken partisanship (in other words, a Tom DeLay with a lot less milage.) Serving in one of North Carolina's most Republican districts he's in a position to slash and burn without complaint from his constituents.
According to Jonathan Collegio, McHenry's former deputy chief of staff, "There's the sense that Patrick, rather than running away from a battle, will run toward the sound of gunshots and I think a lot of people appreciate that," he said. "When nobody wanted to touch Tom DeLay with a 10-foot cattle prod, McHenry was on the cable television circuit defending him."
According to Whitmire...
"...there's no doubt that McHenry's primary target remains the Democratic Party. Just weeks after the election, before the new Congress had even convened, he was already scoffing at the notion of a spirit of cooperation between the Republican White House and Democratic Congress.
"I think it's great rhetoric, but there will be little reality of bipartisanship in Washington," he said. "I'm going to be very mindful about their (Democrats') actions, and point out their hypocrisies."