WASHINGTON -- To mark the occasion of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) once again fending off challenges to his rule of the House of Representatives, Politico Magazine's Glenn Thrush has written a great profile of Boehner. It is filled with colorful anecdotes.
"When rambunctious Long Island Rep. Peter King accosted Boehner in a Capitol hallway to demand a vote on a stalled Hurricane Sandy relief bill," Thrush writes, "Boehner fended him off with a curt, 'We’re getting to you soon, shithead,' then shot him a quick smile."
That's the second remarkable King zing of the Boehner era. Writing in Texas Monthly last February, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) recalled thanking Boehner for condemning Iowa Republican Steve King's claim that many illegal immigrants have "calves the size of cantaloupes" from hauling marijuana across the border.
Castro described his encounter with Boehner on the House floor: "He slowed his stride and then paused to turn toward us. 'What an asshole,' he said."
Thrush also details Boehner's strategy for coping with phone conversations with President Obama: "Two former House leadership staffers who spent a lot of time around the speaker say it is not uncommon for Boehner to roll his eyes during one of Obama’s long spiels, set down the receiver on his desk with Obama’s muffled voice still droning over the line -- as the speaker lights another Camel or gestures to an aide to hand him a file."
(This is apparently the second ring zing of the Obama era. Bob Woodward reported in a 2012 book that while Obama spoke during a 2009 conference call, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "reached over and pressed the mute button. They could hear Obama, but now he couldn't hear them. The president continued speaking, his disembodied voice filling the room, and the two leaders got back to the hard numbers.")
Thrush reports that despite the tension, Boehner and Obama speak on the phone more often than people realize. They're both golf nuts, after all. And they can both sing. Here's a rendition of the Boehner Birthday Song.