In one brief, destined-for-virality clip, House Speaker John Boehner both undercut his main argument for delaying a vote on immigration and gave House Republicans another reason to vote against his leadership role in January. However: It is a funny snippet of video! So let's watch.
That's Boehner speaking at a meeting of the Rotary Club in his home district near Cincinnati, Ohio. He was in the area specifically to bolster his standing for the upcoming Republican primary in his district, the Cincinnati Enquirer writes. But — even while acknowledging that he was being videotaped — decided to make a little national news. "'Here's the attitude. Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard,' Boehner whined," as the Enquirer puts it.
Here's the thing: Boehner usually blames President Obama for the House's inaction. The Senate passed an immigration bill in 2013, which the House has refused to address. Over the course of the year, Republicans have toyed with passing some measures, arguing in January that they just wanted to wait until the primaries were out of the way so that conservatives wouldn't challenge incumbents. So Boehner has been suggesting that no action is likely, while saying it's because Obama isn't a reliable negotiator.
Before the crowd in Ohio, though, he said, "I don't know if we're going to do it this year or not. I think we should, but the appetite for doing it among my colleagues is not too good." And then he imitated those colleagues — to surprisingly limited laughter. Not that this is a surprise; most observers believe that it's internal party politics that is blocking any House action, not some esoteric lack of faith in Obama.
Boehner's colleagues will also be asked next January who they want to represent them. For some time, it has been rumored that Boehner was thinking about giving up the Speaker position once the new Congress is sworn-in. If he plans to run again, an already-difficult race will almost certainly have just gotten harder.
Or maybe it won't. Maybe his colleagues will say, "Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard," but vote for him anyway. I wonder what that would look like.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.