I choose to remember Boehner as the energetic guy with the drive to advance a conservative agenda to stop the Obama-Reid-Pelosi onslaught rather than the exhausted man he has become.
Boehner was the vanguard of the Republican comeback in Washington DC. Before his selection as Speaker, Republicans (and conservatives) had NOTHING. No place in government beyond being the minority in all three branches of government (because let's face it, conservatives don't even have the Supreme Court).
A lot of people gave him grief, even early on when Republicans controlled only one-half or one-third of government. But I gave him the benefit of the doubt. We needed the Senate to really get things done. That's what the professional Republicans told us. And a lot of us believed it.
Well, we got the Senate and still nothing happened. And then those same professional Republicans said, "Now we need the White House to get stuff done."
I remember the last time Republicans ran the table. We got higher taxes, more government, and the Big Tent. A lot of us aren't buying what the professional Republicans are selling.
About this time is when I started noticing that Speaker Boehner seemed a bit tired. Like, even he wasn't buying this stuff anymore.
This is a good man who has had to deal with some of the worst American politics -- on both sides of the aisle -- has had to offer. And for the most part, Boehner handled his duties with grace and humility. Occasionally, a bad word or two.
In the end, for me, Boehner's legacy is best summed up in this video clip that I took before he became Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for your service to your nation, the great state of Ohio, and the Eighth District and may you enjoy your retirement.