More than two years later, Boehner has a new title, speaker of the House. But he has the same problem: He has defined himself as a leader who doesn’t twist arms, instead letting his rank-and-file follow their own consciences.
But that strategy has left Boehner struggling to control his flock at the moments he needs it most.
“We did everything possible to maximize our votes. Begged, pleaded,” Boehner said, puffing Camel cigarettes, in an interview after he lost that vote in 2008. “We didn’t threaten anyone.”
To be fair, in this case the reference is reasonably appropriate, given that it is specifically Boehner's strategy in passing a debt deal that the story focuses on. But it is a recurring detail in Post stories that leaves us scratching our heads.