Boehner bursts into tears at Pelosi portrait unveiling: ‘One Tough Cookie’

The official portrait of House Speaker Nancy Pelosis was unveiled in the US Capitol on Wednesday as Republicans and Democrats joined forces to honor her career in which she broke the glass ceiling.

In 2007, Pelosi became the first woman elected Speaker of the House and has led her Democrats for nearly 19 years, prior to which she was the House Democrat. In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, considered the birthplace of the US women’s rights movement. The 35-year-old California congresswoman announced her resignation last month after Republicans won the House majority in the midterm elections.

Those in attendance Wednesday included former Ohio Representative John Boehner, a Republican who both preceded and succeeded Pelosi and served as speaker from 2011 to 2019 until Democrats regained control of the chamber in the 2018 midterm elections.

Speaker Pelosi attends her portrait unveiling
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi applauded Wednesday at their portrait unveiling ceremony at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Floor polish delivered tearful remarks to the crowd about his one-time political opponent and shared that Pelosi has served as a role model for his daughters.

“Madame Speaker, you and I have disagreed politically on many things over the years, but we have never been uncomfortable,” Boehner said onstage. “As you may have heard me say before, you can disagree without being uncomfortable.

“No other Speaker of the House of Representatives in modern times, whether Republican or Democrat, has waved the gavel with such authority or with such consistent results,” the former Speaker continued. “Let me just say you’re a tough guy.”

The heartfelt tribute drew praise from Twitter users from both sides of the aisle on Wednesday night, including from Healy Baumgardnera political advisor who worked on former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“John Boehner @SpeakerBoehner is AWESOME,” Baumgardner wrote.

writer Josch Krueger tweeted that he had the “surreal” feeling of missing Boehner while watching the speech, adding that his tearful tribute to Pelosi “seems so classy.”

“Boehner was never a nut, and his commitment to country was never controversial,” Kruger added. “In other words, the GOP doesn’t make them that way anymore.”

Other users agreed that Boehner’s words were an example of positive GOP leadership in contrast to current Republican leaders in the House of Representatives. Susan Glasera journalist for The New Yorkertweeted that it was “amazing to see John Boehner burst into tears at the unveiling of the portrait of Nancy Pelosi.”

“A stark reminder of the current dysfunction with a House GOP controlled by its pro-coup caucus,” she added.

Other notable guests at Pelosi’s tribute included House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who aspires to succeed the Speaker when the GOP takes over the reins of the chamber next year. Former President Barack Obama also provided a “virtual cameo” to honor his former colleague, according to a report by The New York Times.

Obama told the crowd over the taped speech that even though Pelosi would step down from leadership of the House of Representatives, “I will still feel better knowing that your portrait is looking down from these walls and reminding all who see it.” will fight to keep going,” he reported Times.

Pelosi also thanked her colleagues in attendance during her remarks, saying she “can never thank them enough.”

“Thank you for your support but more importantly for your patriotism and what you all on both sides of the aisle are doing for our country,” the spokesman said. “And I think each of you is a blessing to our country.”

news week asked Boehner for comment. Boehner bursts into tears at Pelosi portrait unveiling: ‘One Tough Cookie’

Rick Schindler

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