SPEAKER BOEHNER. Via Josh Marshall, check out this article reporting that Dennis Haster may "have just one or two days to turn the affair around -- or quiet it -- or face being forced to step aside." Assuming the latter development for a moment, what would happen next? In the event of Hastert's resignation, John Boehner is the favorite to step up to the Speakership, and presumably his former rival for majority leader, Roy Blunt, would take over his current role. Incidentally, this paragraph from the U.S. News and World Report piece, assessing an alternative option, captures the amusingly complex tangle of hypocrisy considerations in which Republicans find themselves enmeshed:

Other names include retiring Rep. Henry Hyde. The Washington Times, which today called for Hastert's resignation, nominated Hyde. But GOP strategists said that would only compound the party's problem because of Hyde's admitted affair while he was married and was a rising star in Illinois politics. At the time, the leak of his old affair was blamed on Democrats hopeful of squelching Hyde's probe into the Clinton-Lewinsky affair.

At any rate, in the event of a Hastert resignation, eyes will no doubt turn to Tom Reynolds -- wouldn't the same logic pushing Hastert to step down presumably apply to the NRCC head? Perhaps I'm thinking too far ahead, but this story has been moving mighty fast.

--Sam Rosenfeld