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Boehner’s Tears: A Typology

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So incoming House speaker John Boehner, as you may have noticed, is a crier. Though three reporters covering Boehner’s Ohio district say they don’t remember the representative tearing up during the early years of his congressional career, which began in 1990, he’s gotten choked up frequently since becoming a major GOP player—and has been a veritable blubberpuss of late. (“Maybe he’s just getting older, getting softer,” says David Fong of the Troy Daily News. “Maybe crying is something he saves for the national media, ’cause he sure doesn’t do it here.”) A catalogue of the many subjects that send his lip aquiver.


LOEM = Level of Eye Moistness

Trigger: The Children
Cries during a 2004 visit to a Washington, D.C., Catholic school he helps raise money for; cries during a speech to Dayton businessmen about education in their city that same year; cries during 2001 congressional debate of the No Child Left Behind bill, which he co-sponsored.
LOEM =

Trigger: The American Dream
Sobs on Election Night when Republicans take control of the House of Representatives. “I’ve spent my whole life chasing the American Dream,” he says tearfully.
LOEM =

Trigger: The Children and the American Dream
Cries twice during a December 12 interview with Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes. “I can’t go to a school anymore … You see all these little kids running around. Can’t talk about it ... I’m making sure that these kids have a shot at the American Dream, like I did.”
LOEM =

Trigger: Funding the Troops
Breaks down while arguing for continued financing of the war in Iraq.
LOEM =

Trigger: Abortion
Tears up while receiving the Henry J. Hyde Defender of Life Award from a pro-life group in May.
LOEM =

Trigger: Old Times
Reportedly cries (and with some regularity) at his annual golf tournament while reminiscing with buddies.
LOEM =

Trigger: Deploying the Troops
Becomes emotional while describing 9/11 during argument in favor of escalating war in Iraq.
LOEM =

Trigger: Bi-partisanship
Eyes become watery during a speech in support of the financial-bailout bill while beseeching members of both parties to act “in the best interest for our country.”
LOEM =

Trigger: Ronald Reagan’s Speechifying About the Troops
Chokes up mentioning a quote of Reagan’s about the military and freedom during a speech at the unveiling of a Reagan statue in the U.S. Capitol.
LOEM =

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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