House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, following a House GOP conference meeting. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. is seeking unity in a place it's rarely found, telling House Republicans he will serve as their speaker only if they embrace him by week's end as their consensus candidate. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

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How will John Boehner be remembered as speaker?
DEMOCRATS (75 VOTES)

As a dealmaker: 7%
As a strong leader who was dealt a difficult hand: 28%
As a speaker who misread his conference: 12%
As a weak leader: 53%

As a dealmaker

“I’m giving Mr. Boehner high marks for trying to make a grand bargain.”

“But 45 of his followers wouldn’t accept any deal on any terms.”

As a strong leader who was dealt a difficult hand

“You can only do what the members allow.”

“Good leader with an insufficient number offollowers.”

“He will be remembered as an individual who could have been a memorable speaker had not he been consumed by the very revolution that brought him to power.”

As a speaker who misread his conference

“He never seemed to get a handle on his caucus, nor did he particularly want to adjust his leadership style.”

As a weak leader

“History will not be kind to him.”

“A speaker who cannot control his own caucus is a weak speaker.”

“Nice guy and a good man but not a strong leader.”

“While he appears to be a victim of the Far Right, he was an enabler of bad behavior that spiraled out of control.”

“John who?”

Q: How will John Boehner be remembered as speaker?
REPUBLICANS (77 VOTES)

As a dealmaker: 22%
As a strong leader who was dealt a difficult hand: 53%
As a speaker who misread his conference: 12%
As a weak leader: 13%

As a dealmaker

“A dealmaker caught between two sides that ultimately had no interest in reaching agreement.”

“He tried to deal with people who don’t know how to negotiate, or who think negotiating is losing.”

As a strong leader who was dealt a difficult hand

“History will give him good marks for trying to always do the right thing and for resisting the radicals.”

“Everyone is spoken well of at their funeral.”

“Most of America understands that the Republican Congress is almost impossible to manage. Boehner did an admirable job.”

“Solomon couldn’t have led some of these jokers.”

“The further we get from replacing Boehner, the better he looks to the conference.”

As a speaker who misread his conference

“Boehner kept believing the more conservative members would eventually get ‘Potomac fever’ and fall into line. Ironic he helped elect the people who did him in.”

As a weak leader

“Down in history as the crier.”

“He never gained control of his conference, tried to deal with dissent by punishing dissenters, and gradually cut off communication with many members. Nice guy, but not a strong leader.”

“Government shutdowns and being held hostage by a small sliver of his conference instead of fashioning a bipartisan coalition to get things done.”

“Wish it wasn’t so, because I respect him a lot. But between his tears and his early exit, the perception is one of weak backbone.”

. . . . . . . . .

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chávez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk Van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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