During his previous stint as Majority Leader, Representative John Boehner’s (R-OH) outlined his three main goals for his first year in leadership which may best be summed up in his own words:
One is to keep the majority in the House. The second goal is to stay close to my colleagues, and the third goal is to be the same old jackass I’ve always been.
If he had a fourth goal, I’m pretty sure it would have something to do with him staying drunk as often as humanly possible. Part of Boehner’s prideful jackass-ism stems from his incessant thirst for the booze. And no, I’m not talking about the lampshade on your head, hit on your girlfriend and pass out on your bathroom floor after vomiting in your shower jackass variety; but the man’s boozing skills are that of legend.
He’s an informal guy, one who often pokes fun at reporters’ clothes and haircuts and who is always ready with a quick quip.
He’s also a closet chain-smoker, fond of the Barclay’s brand, rumored to be able to suck half a pack down in a matter of minutes if given a proper recess.
The son of a bar owner, Boehner worked alongside his father mopping the floors at Andy’s Café when he was in elementary school. Perhaps that’s where he first developed his taste for booze, but today, Congressman Boehner resembles a modern day Dean Martin of sorts, even leading a social life the legendary crooner would envy.
He’s made a name for himself with his legendary late-night parties which he first began throwing at the 1996 Republican National Convention. Nicknamed the “Best Little Warehouse” party, Boehner, (along with Bruce Gates, a tax lobbyist with Washington Council Ernst & Young and head of Mr. Boehner’s Freedom Project PAC and prominent lobbyist Henry Gandy) are known for throwing a party at the RNC that runs multiple days, often lasts until dawn and exceeds $100,000.
The longest-running convention party is the one being thrown all four nights of the convention to honor Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. It’s at the Tunnel, a former nightclub on Manhattan‘s West Side. The party-every-night tradition goes back to the GOP’s San Diego convention in 1996, where nightly bashes for Boehner — then a member of the House leadership — got a reputation as the best events in town. Boehner’s lobbyist friends replicated it at a Philadelphia warehouse in 2000 and are doing it again this year. The effort is led by Bruce Gates, a lobbyist for Washington Council Ernst & Young, a firm whose client list includes employers such as General Electric, Ford, AT&T and Verizon.
Even NPR acknowledged Boehner as “an insiders insider” who “Throws legendary parties during the Republican National Convention.”
Awesome. It’s like college…only with pensions.
When Boehner replaced Tom Delay and was elected as Majority Leader back in 2006, disclosure reports filed with the FEC show that Boehner (or his representatives), spent $1,465 at the “classy” liquor store Schneider’s of Capitol Hill on February 3rd, the very next day after he was elected as leader. Clearly a celebration was in order. The bill was paid by Boehner’s slush fund, errr leadership PAC, The Freedom Project.
In fact, Boehner’s Freedom Project may just be Schneider’s best customer, spending $1178 dollars at the very same liquor store in the current cycle, and another $1,554 on one very special occasion on January 13th, 2004 (must have been one hell of a New Year’s Party).
But let’s get back to the Convention. This year, some 12 years later, Boehner, had a new role: convention chairman.
He spent a lot more time on the podium, presided over the adoption of the party’s committee reports, including its platform and other rules. At the end of the week, he even got to bang the gavel to draw the convention to a close! It was a formal role for an informal guy. Too bad he was drunk.
At the Convention, Boehner gave two awkward, drunken speeches that were embarrassing, somewhat uncomfortable, and confusing at best for those in attendance. The man could not pronounce a name if his life depended on it.