John Boehner says that Mitch McConnell ‘holds his feelings, thoughts, and emotions in a lockbox’

McConnell Boehner
Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, left, and then-House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio stand together at a ceremony on Capitol Hill on February 13, 2015.

  • John Boehner made some revealing statements about his former GOP counterpart, Mitch McConnell.
  • Boehner said that “bystanders are struck silent” when McConnell shows visible feelings or emotions.
  • In a USA Today interview, the former speaker’s penchant for tears was still evident.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When former GOP House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio served in leadership, he often worked with his Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Both men were from the same political party and even hailed from adjoining states – Boehner was a conservative Midwestern Republican, while McConnell the face of the South’s dominant influence within the party.

However, while promoting his new memoir, “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” Boehner made some revealing observations about McConnell.

During an interview with USA Today, the former speaker highlighted McConnell’s intellect and penchant to play the long game, which the minority leader wholly adhered to when installing conservative jurists to the federal bench.

Boehner also said that the Kentucky Republican “holds his feelings, thoughts, and emotions in a lockbox closed so tightly that whenever one of them seeps out, bystanders are struck silent.”

For Boehner, a jovial, backslapping politician who still smokes Camel cigarettes and is known to publicly cry during emotional moments, McConnell’s steely and to-the-point demeanor is quite a contrast.

Even in retirement, Boehner’s sentimental side has not dissipated.

When the former speaker was asked what makes him cry, he was prepared with a response.

“I can get a little teary-eyed,” he said. “Over what? There’s a pretty long list.”

He spoke up a treasured television advertisement for the US Golf Association.

“They had some kid playing by himself, gets a hole-in-one and he’s all upset because there’s nobody there to see it,” he said. “Except the greens superintendent saw it!”

When Boehner began to think about how someone actually did see the young man’s brilliant golf shot, it was enough to set him over the edge.

He had to take out a handkerchief to wipe his eyes.

Boehner’s memoir is set to be released on April 13.

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