Diary

To Where They Have Not Been...

“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to
where they have not been.”
Henry A. Kissinger

 

Until being sworn in as the 61st Speaker of the House in
January 2011, John Boehner was a popular Ohio congressman who was not
particularly well known outside of Ohio or Washington DC and certainly not the
household name that he has now become. Notably Speaker Boehner is the first
Republican to have been both the House Minority leader and the Speaker of the
House. (Sam Rayburn being the sole Democrat to hold both offices.) Congressman
Boehner became Speaker Boehner on the strength of the Tea Party freshman elected
into Congress. At that time, it was noted that that the new Speaker had a very
challenging road ahead of him. Few knew just how perilous and contentious that
road would be. First, he would need to be one of the most masterful political
consensus building Speakers in modern history as the Republican majority would
span from Tea Party to Conservative to moderate. Second, owing his new office
to the Tea Party movement, he would have to take up their issues and causes to
give them increased voice within Capitol Hill. During a time when no budgets have
been presented to Congress to act upon, with only continuing resolutions to prevent
government shutdown and a vacuum of leadership from across the aisle and a
seemingly fractured Republican majority, John Boehner’s introduction to the
responsibilities of the Speaker’s Office has been an unrelenting trial by fire.
And it’s a trial that that he has risen to meet. Despite rumblings and partisan
criticism, Speaker Boehner has shown himself to be the hardest working
politician on Capitol Hill. Time and again, the responsibility to lead, to
negotiate, to cajole, displaying the courage to stand up to a sitting President
in heated talks, John Boehner has shown an undaunted dedication and willingness
to take risks for the greater good of the American people. By his own
admission, he has “stuck his neck out a mile” to help craft a debt ceiling deal
to avoid nearly immanent default. He has had to tutor numerous freshman on the intricacies
and nuances of political machination within the Beltway. Yet his tireless
efforts on behalf of the Republican Party have been met with thankless
vilification in the press. Even more disturbing at a recent Tea Party
gathering, there were suggestions to challenge his leadership. Here is a
politician that the polls say voters have been longing for: one who can stand
on principle with wisdom and political prowess to create a Republican tent
large enough to welcome all to the table: independent, moderate, conservative
and Tea Party. Overcoming nearly untenable odds, Speaker Boehner has done just
that getting his people from where they are to where they have not been:
unified. As the debt ceiling crisis comes to a hopeful conclusion, let’s join
together and encourage the Speaker to continue his tireless efforts to win the
ultimate prize: a Republican return to White House in 2012.

Alessa Caye

 

Founder, Caye Street

Follow me on Twitter @CayeStreet