Meet John Boehner – powerful politician, ‘simple guy’

September 15, 2011

The most powerful Republican in America mows his own lawn, had youthful aspirations of becoming a salesman and quietly convinced two know-it-all lawmakers to vote “yes.”

House Speaker John Boehner revealed these and other aspects about himself during a question-and-answer session after a high-profile speech Thursday to the Economic Club of Washington.

Drawing laughter from the crowd, Boehner also made it clear he has no interest in running for vice president, a job that requires attending plenty of foreign funerals.

“I have enough trouble  going to funerals of people I know,” said Boehner, known for easily breaking into tears. “I’m a pretty simple guy,” said Boehner, who’s led his party’s charge to shrink the U.S. government since taking the gavel in January as House speaker.

“People ask me if I’m having fun? Hell no, I’m not having fun. But I’m glad I’m here,” Boehner said.  “I rely on being straight up with people.”

Some time back, Boehner said he had to deal with two House Republican freshmen, “young whipper snappers who seemed to have all the answers,” and who opposed him on a certain matter.

“I brought them in my office, closed the door … looked at them and said, ‘Boys, I’m not going to open it until you say yes. It could take 30 seconds, 30 minutes … three hours,’ ”  Boehner recalled. “It took about 45 minutes.”

Boehner said despite his lofty position in Washington, back home in Ohio he handles the yard work.

“On Monday, Labor Day, I cut the grass then promptly sharpened the blade of the mower and made sure it had ample oil. Because when I’m not there, my wife cuts the grass.”

Boehner played high school football player, but said he never dreamed of turning pro.

“I always wanted to be a salesman. Eventually that is what I did. I thought I would do that the rest of my life,” Boehner said. “But along the way, I got involved in my neighborhood homeowners association, and I ended up in the United States Congress.”

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (Boehner  before speech at the Economic Club in Washington)


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I’m not sure, did the writer mean simple guy or simple minded?

Posted by seattlesh | Report as abusive

“…powerful politician, ‘simple guy’…,” alcoholic.

Posted by PCScipio | Report as abusive

Also, not well a very well informed Speaker of the House.

Posted by coyotle | Report as abusive

Atleast he hasn’t said, “let’s pass the bill first, then we will see whats in it.”……

Posted by deanslist | Report as abusive

Are you sick of the way that our representatives ignore their constituents in favor of the wealthy? Sign my petition at, Congressional Reform act of 2011. Read it and if you agree put your John Henry on the line.

Posted by jalli87583 | Report as abusive

In Boehner’s reality, the way to prove Republicans right is to make up nonsense.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive

@Deanslist, you’re a funny guy! This is the “The Tan Man”, “John of Orange”. I thought that he’d never stop crying for the first six months after the Grand Obstructionist Party won the Majority. Acting as if he could identify so incredibly well with those that lived without because he started working at age 12, Johnny boy I did too, difference being at 12 I was a pre-teen girl who had to take jobs as a waitress and or Factory, spending a good deal of my time putting my foot in doors when a male manager wanted to speak with me in order to avoid sexual harassment.
I am not a multi millionaire like Boehner, unlike him I’ve yet to forget where I’ve come from, and those much less fortunate than myself. Boehner and the Grand Obstructionists, from the time Obama was elected until they gained the Majority had an incredibly well constructed and deeply strategized plan, “Troops we will say “NO”, that they did repeatedly, even if the bill that was coming to the floor was theirs they All, every SINGLE one, said “No” to every thing every time. They collected our money for their pay and did nothing, nothing especially after Boehner made Speaker, then they allowed everything we protested against or to assure that regardless of gender or race we had choice, women it was choice for different things than persons of cplot but we all marched for over a decade for some things nod they’re trying to remove every right we fought for and won. They’ve allowed this nation to slip back at least 30 – 35 years! I have about 10 months left until I become an Ex-Pat, this isn’t my Nation any longer. My husband, myself and both daughters will probably do the same but we’ll be in 4 different countries.
Hey Boehner where’s the Jobs?

Posted by RhodaOzen | Report as abusive

Is “simple” really a euphemism for mentally deficient?

Posted by gurari | Report as abusive