This time Rick Klein of ABC News gives Rep. Eric Cantor some lovin‘:
Since taking over as Republican whip for a diminished and demoralized caucus in the new Congress, Cantor has been a ubiquitous presence for the GOP — on television, in White House meetings, and rallying the troops behind closed doors.
It was Cantor who surprised Obama aides at a White House meeting by taking Obama up on his invitation to offer alternative ideas on the stimulus package.
It was Cantor who crafted a Republican version of the stimulus bill, giving the GOP something to rally around. And it was Cantor again who managed his colleagues so effectively that not a single House Republican wound up voting for Obama’s stimulus package.
Oh, and the “New Newt” theme came up again too:
Cantor is being widely touted as a rising star in a party in search of a new identity. He’s being hailed as the Newt Gingrich of his generation and a possible presidential contender in 2012 or beyond.
But unlike Gingrich — whom Cantor says he consults regularly to gather advice on how to structure the opposition in Congress — he’s developed an easy rapport with the president he’s opposing.