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Nicholas Longworth Political Hero To Speaker John Boehner

July 2, 2013

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Hat tip to Christine

I am having a most wonderful time reading about the colorful life of Alice Roosevelt Longworth.   Alice by Stacy Cordery is simply a book that should not be missed.  The eldest daughter of Teddy Roosevelt was highly intelligent, witty, and also could be quite bitchy if she wished to put you in your place.  There is simply no way not to love her.  She married Nick Longworth, a congressman from Ohio who turned out to be a drinker, a womanizer, and an all-around cad.  He would also become the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Tucked into the last paragraphs of a long read in the Washington Post yesterday about the governing style and political abilities of Speaker John Boehner were these words about Longworth.  I found this all rather timely, and interesting.

Boehner cares more about the process of governance than any speaker since World War II, often telling private audiences that as his legacy he wants to be known as the speaker who made the system work again.

One of his political heroes is Nicholas Longworth, a Republican speaker from Ohio who served three terms beginning in 1925. Boehner cited Longworth when eliciting his goal for the model House: “quiet in its effectiveness, but unmistakable in its pride and purpose.”

“The oft-repeated phrase was, ‘You can’t help liking Nick,’ ” said Stacy A. Cordery, a professor at Monmouth College who has studied Longworth. She said Longworth, like Boehner, was known for defusing tensions with jokes and an after-work drink.

In his first days as speaker, however, Longworth cracked down on several Republicans who had broken party rank during the 1924 presidential election, demoting them to the lowest rung of their committees.

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