Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) got emotional Wednesday as he delivered a tribute to outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
The retired congressman appeared to fight back tears as he delivered remarks at the ceremonial unveiling of Pelosi’s official portrait at the U.S. Capitol.
“You’ve been unfailingly gracious to me, to my family, and, frankly, my team here in Washington,” Boehner said.
“And Madam Speaker, I have to say, my girls told me, ‘Tell the Speaker how much we admire her,’” Boehner added as he began to choke up. Following a round of applause, he remarked, “If you couldn’t tell, my girls are Democrats.”
Boehner: my girls told me, tell the speaker how much we admire her… pic.twitter.com/Ji2rAJ4sHl
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 14, 2022
Preceded by Pelosi in her first stint in the role, Boehner served as House speaker from 2011 up until his resignation in 2015. During his tenure in Congress, Boehner garnered a reputation for crying, including during a victory speech when Republicans won control of the House in 2010.
Pelosi said she was “honored” by Boehner’s presence and quipped that she “would have been a little disappointed if he did not get emotional,” according to NBC News.
After becoming the first female speaker of the House in 2007, Pelosi served four years in that role, and did not hold it again until 2019.
Join @SenSchumer, @RepZoeLofgren, @RepRoybalAllard, Speaker Boehner and me at the U.S. Capitol for a ceremony to unveil my portrait as the 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives, which will join the collection of portraits in the Speaker’s Lobby. https://t.co/AXTipQvxnQ
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 14, 2022
Pelosi announced last month she would not seek another term as the top Democrat in the House, but planned to remain as a congresswoman, continuing to represent much of the San Francisco area as she has since the 1980s. After Republicans won control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is poised to succeed Pelosi next year as minority leader.
Pelosi’s portrait was painted by Ronald Sherr, the artist also was also responsible for Boehner’s portrait, which C-SPAN noted now hangs in the Speaker’s Lobby behind the House Chamber. During his remarks, Boehner said Sherr died in the past few days.
Amid the Boehner remarks for Pelosi: sobs, sniffles, eye dabbing, handkerchief .. and “as if there’s nobody watching, I can’t let her rebuff me. So I kind of moved in and made sure I planted that kiss on here.” pic.twitter.com/StqloOwuIl
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) December 14, 2022
Boehner also talked about how he and Pelosi were “never disagreeable” to each other despite being at odds politically and he shared the story behind the kiss he gave Pelosi in 2011 when she handed him the speaker’s gavel in 2011, according to The Hill.
In attendance at the event was Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, who survived a hammer attack at their residence in California in late October.