NRCC ELECTIONS HQ — The next Speaker of the House is one emotional dude. As he celebrated the end of Democratic rule in the lower house of Congress with several hundred friends here in downtown Washington, John Boehner broke down and cried while the crowd chanted “USA! USA!”
“I’ve spent my life trying to chase the American dream,” Boehner said, his voice cracking. He went on to espouse the virtues of capitalism and small business ownership in the way that you’d expect from the man who just led the Republican Party back from the political wilderness. Except with more tears.The rest of Boehner’s speech looked forward to a world where Republicans run the House and the Democrats kowtow to tea party demands.
“We are witnessing a repudiation,” Boehner said, claiming that with each GOP vote rolling in, “America is putting Washington on notice.”
In a theme that ran throughout the night, Boehner promised his Republican Congressional majority would not be the same one lost to the Democrats four years ago. Speaker after speaker got up tonight and promised a more austere and respectful GOP, one that took to heart the so-called Pledge To America that Bohener touted as his party’s political agenda on the campaign trail this fall.
“This new majority is prepared to do things differently,” Boehner said.
He didn’t get into policy specifics but did offer these three tenets for how things will go in the House staring in January when Boehner and his compatriots are sworn in.
Boehner said the Republicans will govern by “cutting spending instead of increasing it, reducing the size of government instead of increasing it” and “reforming the way Congress works” and “giving the government back to the people.”
He said the party will start off by “ending uncertainty in our economy and putting our citizens back to work.”
For all the talk of a kinder, gentler more attentive GOP, however, Bohener made it clear who he thought the vote tonight was really aimed at.
“The people have sent a message to President Obama,” he said. “Change course.”