John Boehner—the Blubberer
John Boehner gave one of the weirdest and worst victory speeches I’ve ever seen last night. Unlike Marco Rubio and Rand Paul who gave great speeches, Boehner’s was just odd, and not just because of the crying.
In the beginning, Boehner was stumbling over words and giving nearly zero eye contact to his audience, as if he were a first-time candidate and not an 11-term incumbent career politician. Boehner was reading the boiler-plate speech as if it never would have occurred to him to say “cut taxes” or “give the government back to the people” without a script.
And then came the blubbering…Of course it’s fine for grown men to cry in politics. Reagan did it. Clinton did it. But these men knew the art of having a moist eye, being choked up for 2 seconds, and then moving on. Boehner looked like he was going to fall apart—that’s not comforting in the Leader of the United States House of Representatives. I though Oprah was going to have to come out and put her arm around him to calm him down.
I don’t know how Boehner did it, but he managed to be both too boring and too emotional—that’s a rare feat for a political speaker. Someone had better help him clean up his act, quickly! As the new speaker for the new Republican majority in Washington he is about to be the new “fresh face.” Republicans don’t want to have happen in 2010 what happened in 1994—that’s when Gingrich went from being the fresh faced kid with new ideas to the fat-greedy-book-deal-scheming petulant insider in just a few weeks after taking the gavel.
John Boehner needs a makeover. At least his skin didn’t glow orange last night the way it usually does. The Republicans did an excellent job of demonizing Nancy Pelosi and making her synonymous with everything wrong in Washington, but if they think the Democrats haven’t found a copy of that playbook lying around in a capitol cloakroom somewhere, they are naïve.
John Boehner is now the highest ranking and highest profile Republican in the land. He is now the GOP’s lead spokesperson to the nation. He is the de facto head of the Republican Party. Can he excel at the chief communicator role as well as he has excelled at the chief-strategist role? They jury is out.