John Boehner reacts to Obama talking about gay marriage in typical John Boehner fashion

Boehner appears bored and unimpressed by the gay rights cause

Kiran Moodley
Wednesday 21 January 2015 11:58
U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner listens to President Barack Obama deliver the State of the Union address.
U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner listens to President Barack Obama deliver the State of the Union address.

John Boehner is used to getting emotional in public (he almost cried at one State of the Union), but even he couldn't get excited by Barack Obama's latest address to Congress.

The Speaker of the House couldn't even feign interest in Obama's achievements or his agenda. Perhaps that's because Boehner and his fellow Republicans are planning to stymie anything the Commander-in-chief tries to push through the legislature, especially now that the GOP are the majority party in both the House and the Senate.

One might have thought Boehner would have been pleased during the speech, looking out over the array of political figures with a sense of real power, thinking to himself, "You may be the President, but I'm in charge of this chamber".

It was just a few weeks back that the Ohio congressman was telling us all about how to make the best turkey brine, as he enjoyed a Thanksgiving sweetened by Republican gains in the November elections.

Yet Boehner hardly applauded or stood up to acknowledge any parts of the President's hour-long address, his face alternating between disgust, boredom and tiredness. Many on the internet were quick to react to Boehner's apparent disgruntlement at Obama mentioning the progress that the gay marriage cause had made in the USA. While Vice President Joe Biden and many others applauded, Boehner just looked on:

For most of the speech, Boehner looked like he would rather be anywhere else, something picked up on by Obama's former election guru David Axelrod, as well as many others on Twitter.

Of course, it doesn't help being next to Biden, not only the President's number two and best mate but also one of the happiest men to have ever sat through an hour-long political speech.

The happiest man in the room.

However, Obama knows how to get a good reaction from Boehner. Back in 2011, he referenced how the American dream was alive and well, which was why "someone who began by sweeping the floors of his Cincinnati bar can preside as Speaker of the House in the greatest nation on earth". Cue Boehner getting teary-eyed as the room stood to applaud him and his inspiring backstory.

Thus, with the President aware he was going to need Boehner to at least seem happy for a brief section of his speech, he once again returned to the theme guaranteed to meet the orange man's approval.

Obama said that success in America was based not on "accident of birth but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams" and that was why "the son of a barkeep is Speaker of the House".

The chamber erupted, Biden rose to applaud and Boehner gave Obama the thumbs up, before finally standing to acknowledge...himself.

At last, the nation knew the secret of how to get a smile from Boehner during a State of the Union address delivered by a Democrat: tell him he's the personification of the American dream.

Happy Boehner.

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