As we noted at the time, John Boehner’s plans for yesterday looked like this: cry about Gabrielle Giffords on the House floor for a couple of hours, then head over to get sloshed at an RNC cocktail party he was hosting that evening. Sure, it seemed a little silly at the time. But then there’s this: Boehner, like Nancy Pelosi and certain off-putting Arizona officials, was invited onto Air Force One to fly to Arizona to visit Giffords in the hospital and show solidarity or whatever at the memorial yesterday. But unlike those officials, he turned the White House down. Look, John Boehner cannot just drop his plans to party every time a member of Congress is shot in the head. Boehner, at the same time the memorial thing was happening, was showing his solidarity with red wine, which itself is a great patriot.
NON-STORY, say the Boehner folks:
“The speaker made it clear to the White House all along that he would be in the House today,” the GOP aide said. “Their last-minute invite was a courtesy – they knew he was going to be here. The invitation came along after all this stuff in the House had been set up, on a bipartisan basis. The speaker can’t exactly walk away from all that.”
No, of course, the speaker of the House has to be on the floor at all times. That is his job. That’s why he has a small cabin off to the side, so he can live there full time. Somehow all the other members of Congress who went to Arizona could make it, but the White House knew that Boehner was planning on handcuffing himself to John Dingell or whatever other stationary object he could find on the House floor.
How are you supposed to party at a memorial service? By bringing your wine in a flask? That’s not very classy, and Boehner doesn’t get paid any extra by going to such a thing, so he will spend his time at cocktail parties, thank you. [Politico]