What could be insaner than to smoke like Speaker Boehner?

June 20, 2011

Quick quiz: Speaker of the House John Boehner is puffing on a cigarette…

a) in his own back yard.

b) in Ohio or someplace like that.

c) in an airplane lavatory after invoking his Congressional Smoke Detector Disabling Privileges.

d) at a White House picnic.

You’re not going to believe this, but he is indeed at a White House family picnic, complete with foot-long hot dogs, a pie-throwing contest, and impressionable children.

“Look Sally, see that man over there, the orange-looking guy with smoke coming out of┬áhis nose and mouth? He’s the Speaker of the House!”

Given Boehner’s reputation for weeping at the drop of a hat, it brings to mind that classic Platters song.

Now laughing friends deride
Tears I can not hide
Oh, so I smile and say
When a lovely flame dies
Smoke gets in your eyes
Smoke gets in your eyes

Story of the Boehner smoking photo

Join the Oddly Enough blog network

Follow this blog on Twitter at rbasler

Top and left: House Speaker John Boehner smokes a cigarette at a picnic for Members of Congress, hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington June 15, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Right: Incoming House Speaker John Boehner reacts as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces she is handing over power to him on the opening day of the 112th United States Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 5, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

More stuff from Oddly Enough


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

You know, when a politician cries like that, you have good reason to believe that he would be a jewel to talk to…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive


Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

It’s ALL smoke and mirrors. Professional politicians cry on demand, no problem. They are better actors/actresses than many in Hollywood.

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

President Obama [angrily]: “Mr Boehner, where did you get that cigarette?”

House Speaker Boehner [defiant]: “I got it from you Mr. President! I got it from you!”

A single shooting star flies overhead with the words “The More You Know” in trail.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

That was too easy, BG. Look at the yellow gingham cloth in the background; it’s a dead giveaway for a picnic.

As for the smoking, well, when you hand out checks from a tobacco lobby on the floor of the House of Representatives, you can be sure he’d be lighting up everywhere he can.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/opinio n/05herbert.html (among other sources)

Posted by skeres | Report as abusive

I bet Mr. Boehner read this blog and is trying to hide from the POTUS.

http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/20 11/06/15/shooting-blanks-from-some-hidde n-tanks/

Posted by Malteser | Report as abusive

Just what the US needs: leaders who are so stupid that they smoke.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Isn’t he from your state, Doc?

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Yep, but he’s from the 8th District. I live in the 9th District (Marcy Kaptur (D)).

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Boehner does not believe that humans contribute to global warming, which can be debated. But Boehner once remarked: “The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know when they do what they do you’ve got more carbon dioxide.”

What an idiot. What a great leader, to demonstrate so many scientific inaccuracies by citing cow crap. If he were a clock that didn’t run, he would still manage not to be correct twice a day. And the word is “defecate.”

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Boehner – derivation: Middle German from Latin, meaning head of bone.
It’s all in the name.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

OK, so can I get a definitive pronunciation of his surname? In the past couple of weeks I have heard it as:

And some contortion my boss came up with that sounds like he’s hacking up a furball.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

@Nosmo: It’s BAY-ner. Unlike English (“When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking,”) German names (and I believe it is German) seem to have the second vowel used for the pronunciation. See also, Weinstein, Boeheim.

Posted by skeres | Report as abusive

I could care less that he is smoking or even that he is smoking at a White House picnic. What pisses me off is the Bastard is such a hypocrite…. if any of us were smoking any where near a Government structure, or almost any where else, we would be getting harassed, maybe tasered and possibly arrested for doing it.

Posted by dadasys | Report as abusive

(Or Slick10–whatever). The Dishonorable Speaker is not weeping in the second photo–he got smoke in his eyes.

Posted by slick9 | Report as abusive

@Spin: Sistah, re that last word–you made the right choice. “Vainer” is way poeticker. And it rhymes good like a limerick should.

Posted by ladylala | Report as abusive

Nice, Spin!

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Skeres, you know what I will have to do…
You could have left it off at “BAY-ner”…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive