Backstory

Boehner's Humble Roots

With Republicans confident that they will take the House in November, Ohio Rep. John Boehner stands to supplant Nancy Pelosi as the next Speaker of the House. So The New York Times did some backreporting. Democrats have often painted the man from a working-class Roman Catholic family of 12 kids as being a lazy, cocktail-wielding dandy, but his love of sharp clothes, golf, and politics all stems from his upbringing. “I was determined, I was miserable and I didn’t have anything,” said Boehner. He failed twice at joining trade unions out of high school--Boehner is no fan of unions today--and, after graduating from Xavier University in Cincinnati in six years while juggling several jobs, settled down with his wife Deborah and took a job at Nucite Sales, a small plastics distributing company that he would end up running soon after the owner died. Boehner ascended from Cincinnati-based Union Township trustee to eventual House Republican Leader with the help of Jim Webb, a lobbyist for Armco Steel who eventually ran Nucite for Boehner. Boehner was ousted from the House in 1998, but then helped write the No Child Left Behind act under President George W. Bush, and eventually replaced scandal-ridden Tom DeLay as House Republican leader in 2006.