House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is known to poke at reporters during pressers. Most recently he got on NBC Luke Russert’s case for being loud. But he has ridiculed them for far worse — shoes, hair, ties.
But in the WaPo Magazine cover story Sunday, we see that reporters aren’t the only ones who endure jabs from Boehner. He takes his dry wit out on colleagues too, razzing at least one for being overweight and others vying for his job. And sometimes, miraculously, they even ding him back, as in the rare display of humor by House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) who, even through his Virginia drawl, managed a comeback about Boehner’s allegedly ugly green sweater. This was after taking much grief from Boehner about his shoes, haircut and clothes. As one reporter describes Cantor’s humor, “We have all ‘laughed’ three times today, not because he’s funny but because he tries. Politeness.”
The story features the standard fare from House leadership spokesmen that life is grand amongst their staffs, but WaPo‘s Michael Leahy manages to sidestep them.
Statistics in brief:
Tan references: 2
Cigarette references: 2
Blind quotes: 5
Quotes from Boehner: 0 (Leahy writes, “He declined through a spokesperson to be interviewed for this story.”)