Boehner Speaks Softly, Forgets the Stick

Minority leader is unable to deliver GOP votes on bailout
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Sep 30, 2008 8:56 AM CDT
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, is pursued by reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Sept. 29, 2008.    (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
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(Newser) – House Republican leader John Boehner was one of the biggest losers in yesterday's rout of the Wall Street bailout bill; his inability to deliver his party’s votes reveals the weakness of his position in the caucus, reports Politico. Boehner was unable to switch votes by leaning on wavering members, as his predecessors could. “You can’t break their arms, you can’t put your whole relationship on the line,” the minority leader told reporters after the vote.

Even some of Boehner’s closest allies voted against the bill. “I have some members who would do anything for me, and I talked to them, and it just killed me, absolutely killed me, when they told me they couldn’t vote yes,” he said. The Ohio Republican will likely survive, if in part because his caucus likes leadership that leaves a long leash.