Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner said today that he leaves the House “with no regrets or burdens,” telling colleagues in an emotional farewell speech on the House floor to believe in the “long, slow struggle” for a smaller, more effective government.
“I’ve described my life as a chase for the American Dream,” the Republican told a packed House chamber as lawmakers gathered to witness his departure and to elect his successor. “That chase began at the bottom of a hill just off the main drag in Reading, Ohio.”
Boehner’s speech was laced with humor, nostalgia, optimism — and a subtle warning to the firebrand conservatives who nudged him into retirement.
“Real change takes time,” Boehner said in what sounded like an admonishment to the insurgents who pushed him to be unyielding in his dealings with President Obama and Senate Democrats. “Patience is what makes all things real.”
Boehner poked a little fun at himself, saying: “The Hill had twists, the Hill had turns — and even a few tears. Nothing wrong with that.” The frequent crier mopped theatrically at his eyes as House members chuckled.
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