JONATHAN CHAIT MAY 6, 2010
Yesterday Dave Weigel reported on the softer side of John Boehner:
Last night, I joined Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) and Rep. William Lipinski (D-Ill.) at a reception for Americans United for Life, where Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) received the Henry J. Hyde Defender of Life Award. Over the course of a very brief address, Boehner was repeatedly moved to tears.
See video here:
After the speech, Boehner explained his tears:
Look, Henry Hyde was a hero of mine. I've always believed that life begins at conception. I've always thought abortion was wrong, and speaking out against it was never difficult. It was a moral position I felt very strongly about.
The weird thing about Boehner is that he cries all the time. In February of 2007, he got emotional during the debate over increasing troop levels in Iraq. Then in May of that year, Politico reported on his reputation as a "weeper" after he got choked up over Iraq War funding:
And in November of 2008, Eve Fairbanks noted that during the debate over the first, failed bailout bill, Boehner "minted himself a pro-bailout hero by hamming it up for the bill on the House floor, weeping and pleading, 'What's in the best interest of our country? Vote yes!'"
If you needed more evidence, see what our Google image search on "Boehner cries" reveals. I'm pretty sure we'll see some tears if Republicans win the majority this November -- or, come to think of it, if they fail. It's actually kind of an interesting contrast as far as gender expectations goes. If Democrats hold on to the House, the Speaker will be a tough-as-nails negotiator who specializes in keeping a cool head when everybody else is freaking out. If Republicans win, the Speaker will be a manicured tanning addict who cries at the drop of a hat. Either way, it's a blow for gender stereotypes.