Cantor mentioned his faith at the outset of his press conference last week. But his comments came not in any policy context, and he gave no hint that he’s thinking along those lines.
“Growing up in the Jewish faith, I went to Hebrew school and read a lot in the Old Testament about individual setbacks,” he said in prefacing his comments about his unexpected defeat the night before. “But you also read and you learn that each setback is an opportunity.”
Skelley says Cantor would be a natural fit working for a group “that focus[es] on issues related to Israel and Judaism,” such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or the RJC.
Cantor has plenty of other options, of course. He could land on the K Street lobbying circuit, a trade plied by many of his former aides and staffers, not to mention dozens of former legislators. But sources close to the congressman say that’s not likely, at least not right away.
In fact, Cantor himself said earlier this week that a lobbying position was almost certainly not in the cards.
“I don’t think that I want to be a lobbyist,” Cantor said bluntly on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. “But I do want to play a role in in the public debate.”
A more likely near-term option, analysts and capital insiders say, is a move north to New York and Wall Street, where he has a long list of contacts and political allies.
Cantor would have no problem signing on to one of the major investment banks or securities firms in the Big Apple. After all, some of the biggest contributors to Cantor’s campaign and political action committee over the last three years are top-shelf names in the world of financial services, including Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, the Blackstone Group and Scoggin Capital Management. From there, he would wield enormous influence by shepherding political contributions to Republican candidates who share his views.
Looking further ahead, Skelley says he wouldn’t bet against a political comeback in Cantor’s future.
“It’s not inconceivable that he could run for statewide office — senator or governor — at some point down the road, perhaps after a few years away to lick his wounds and rebuild support among elements of the party that he apparently lost touch with,” Skelley said. “There have been a few unexpected political comebacks in history — just take Richard Nixon, for example — so it would be foolish to write [him] off, especially given his relative political youth.”
The congressman likely hasn’t made up his mind yet on his post-congressional move — his loss is just a week old, after all, and he has plenty of time before he leaves office. But one thing is certain: Washington, and the nation, hasn’t heard the last of him.
“I want to … look toward the future so I can continue to promote and be a champion for the conservative cause,” he told CNN. “We are going to have a time when we actually have to solve problems and stop the kind of lurch leftward that we’re seeing. I believe we are getting ready for that.”
(For complete 2014 midterm coverage, get your campaign fix on The Grid.)