Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) has his dream in sight — the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — and if the decision is made using normal inside-the-Beltway protocol, it is likely he will achieve it.

The wildcard?
Sixty-plus new Republican members coming to town, who largely got elected campaigning against the failed stimulus package, the bailout, the green energy policies that drove U.S. jobs overseas and ObamaCare. All of which Upton either supported or, as is the case with national healthcare, only wants to “fix,” rather than pursuing a repeal-and-replace strategy first.
Given that the Energy and Commerce Committee sits at the heart of most of the House Republican agenda (along with the Ways and Means and Appropriations committees), Upton’s approach is clearly out of step with the majority of the Republican Conference.
While many in D.C. are focused on the Hoyer/Clyburn circus sideshow, the really telling decision in the House of Representatives will be whether Upton gets the gavel from presumptive Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerNancy Pelosi: Will she remain the ‘Face of the Franchise’? Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker GOP senator says he 'regularly' considers leaving Republican Party MORE. If he does, the Republican leadership risks alienating many newly elected members before they have even hired their chiefs of staff.
This should be interesting to watch.

Rick Manning is the communications director of Americans for Limited Government. His views are his own and don’t necessarily reflect those of ALG. Follow Rick on Twitter @rmanning957.