Today is a very momentous occasion. With the 112th Congress being sworn in, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) will be officially elected as the new Speaker of the House, taking the gavel away from departing Speaker and incoming Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). So let's get to know Boehner, as he's grown over the past two years.
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At least up until recently, Boehner's most famous moment was in the mid-1990s, when he handed out checks from the tobacco lobby right on the House floor, while a vigorous effort (and a successful one, at that) was underway to save the industry's government subsidies. However, no video of this moment exists -- but we will get to it later.
But the past two years really deserve a look back. It is, after all, the period when the Republican Party went from dead in the water to a strong majority in the House, and John Boehner grew as a political leader and spokesman in that time, too.
So let's look at five key moments over the past two years, a time when a wounded Boehner and GOP began as white-collar Washington insiders who you couldn't give away, only to regenerate into populist Washington insiders with gavels. Okay, it's not quite as impressive a regeneration as the Doctor, but it's still a magnificent transformation all the same.