Behind the Curtain: John Boehner’s Shrinking Power
House Speaker John Boehner, who by title and position should be the second most powerful person in Washington, sure doesn’t seem or sound like it.
He has little ability to work his will with fellow House Republicans. He has quit for good his solo efforts to craft a grand bargain on taxes and spending. And he hasn’t bothered to initiate a substantive conversation with President Barack Obama in this calendar year.
“You’re missing my style, all right?” Boehner told us in an interview. “I don’t need to be out there beating the drum every day. My job as the leader is to build my team, encourage my members, help provide leadership to my members and committee chairs and let the institution work.
“It doesn’t need the heavy hand of the speaker all over everything.”
His style, in short, is not lean in. Or lean on. It’s lean back — and wait.
So, yes, Boehner by recent historic standards and measures is a relatively weak speaker right now. But, in fairness, it’s not clear a more bullying or forceful leader would fare much better with this gang of Republicans or in this dysfunctional Congress