FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW: One of the topics dear to the hearts of Beltway bandits, defense lobbyists and — let’s be honest — reporters, is always who will run things after the November elections.
Few people wise in the ways of Washington I know are willing to predict what will happen when the people vote. But I was lucky enough to bump into Sen. James Inhofe, Nr. 2 Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning at the Raytheon pavilion here. Inhofe had just been briefed on the company’s new Aviation Warrior effort.
There’s been much talk among well informed Washington types that Inhofe has a shot at becoming chairman of the SASC. That he, sort of, kiboshed. Sen. John McCain, currently ranking member, gets six years in that position. At least three well informed congressional sources have told me that McCain would not be eligible for the chairmanship because of GOP rules. But Inhofe said McCain gets six years as ranking and six years as chairman under the rules. A defense industry wag with some time on Capitol Hill laughed when I mentioned this and noted that “they can always change the rules.”