Speaker of the House John Boehner on Washington, the Republican Party & the Road Ahead
Thursday, April 22, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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About the event
Former Speaker of the House John Boehner is the last of a breed. At a time when the arbiters of American culture were obsessing over organic kale, cold-pressed juice, and SoulCycle, the man who stood second in line to the presidency was unapologetically smoking Camels, quaffing a glass of red, and hitting the golf course whenever he could.
There could hardly have been a more diametrically opposed figure to represent the opposition party in President Barack Obama’s Washington. But when Boehner announced his resignation, President Obama called to tell the outgoing Speaker that he’d miss him. “Mr. President,” Boehner replied, “yes you will.” He thought of himself as a “regular guy with a big job,” and he enjoyed it.
In addition to his own stories of life in the swamp city and of his comeback after getting knocked off the leadership ladder, Boehner offers his impressions of leaders he’s met and what made them successes or failures, from Ford and Reagan to Obama, Trump, and Biden. He shares his views on how the Republican Party has become unrecognizable today; the advice–some harsh, some fatherly–he dished out to members of his own party, the opposition, the media, and others; and his often acid-tongued comments about his former colleagues. And of course he talks about golfing with five presidents.
Through Speaker Boehner’s honest and self-aware reflections, you’ll be reminded of a time when the adults were firmly in charge.
About the speaker
John Boehner, 53rd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
A former small businessman, John Boehner served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives for nearly five years (January 2011-October 2015), where he led the drive for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable federal government. Boehner represented the Eighth Congressional District of Ohio in the U.S. House from 1991 to 2015, during which time, he also served as the House Majority Leader and the House Minority Leader.
The son of a bartender and second oldest of 12 brothers and sisters, Boehner grew up mopping floors at the family tavern. After being elected to Congress in 1990, he took a strong stand against pork-barrel spending and, as part of the reform-minded ‘Gang of Seven’, forced the closure of the scandal-ridden House Bank and House Post Office. Boehner’s reputation as a reformer grew as he worked alongside then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, helping to craft the historic 1994 ‘Contract with America’ and helping to lead the effort to enact the first balanced federal budget in a generation.
In 2011, Boehner took the gavel as Speaker of the House following the historic 2010 election in which Congressional Republicans, under his leadership, picked up 63 seats in the U.S. House. Guided by the ‘Pledge to America’, Boehner led the Republican Party in its efforts to remove government barriers to private-sector job creation, to address the drivers of America’s debt, and to eliminate pork-barrel ‘earmarks’. In 2015 after nearly 25 years of service to the nation, Boehner joined Squire Patton Boggs as the firm’s Senior Strategic Advisor.