An Ode to John Boehner’s Crying

The Speaker of the House resigned this morning. We looked back at the times he wasn’t afraid to let the tears flow. 

House Speaker and endless reservoir of manly tears John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Friday morning that he was resigning the speakership, as well as his seat in Congress. Boehner, long noted for his bronze skin, smoky voice, and effortlessly leaky gaze, made the announcement during a meeting on Capitol Hill. 

Boehner has long had a contentious relationship both with the White House and elements of his own party, and these may have contributed to his decision. A Fox News reporter tweeted that at least one unnamed source said another factor in Boehner’s decision was Pope Francis, whose address to Congress “moved” Boehner’s spirit. 

We’d like to salute the outgoing Speaker — a man almost completely lacking in emotional reserve — with a look at a handful of the memorable times since he began his legislative career when he uncorked and let the (likely bourbon-scented) water flow like the River Jordan.

The Golf Channel Interview

Speaking with the Golf Channel’s David Feherty in an interview recorded in July, 2015, Boehner said he “wanted to make sure that every kid had the same chance I did — an opportunity.” In the same interview he referenced a photo of himself with some friends and said they were discussing how easily all of them “turn to tears.”

The State of the Union in 2011

Speaker Boehner has been known to spring a leak now and then during more than one State of the Union address, but his moment during the 2011 speech was perhaps particularly poignant, as it showcased Vice President Joe Biden’s ability to perhaps help flip the switch with his capacity for bipartisan friendliness. 

Pope Francis’s Address to the Congress, September, 2015

Boehner was already noticeably misting over as he sat listening to the Pontiff, but it was during the Pope’s address to crowds outside the Capitol that the extent of Boehner’s emotions became obvious. In this instance the Speaker’s wealth of emotion was understandable — Boehner is a devout Catholic and had extended the invitation to the Pope to speak. 

Whatever your political beliefs, it’s not hard to admire a guy from Boehner’s generation who is so comfortable with freely demonstrating his emotions. Thank you, John Boehner, for always keeping it real, and for your environmentally friendly and copious contributions to the water cycle.

Photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News