My take, right after he was elected Speaker, especially given all the weepiness, was that Boehner was a softy and, ultimately, more of a front man for such hard-baked types as Cantor and McConnell. With Boehner falling in with Obama not just for golf recently, but a tentative budget deal, only to find Cantor jumping his pay grade and getting into it with Obama, it’s interesting to consider this set of Boehner – Cantor photos.
Especially in the lead shot, you see Cantor (the Dem’s new boogeyman, apparently) coming away from a White House skull sessionback on June 1st looking cocky whereas Boehner appears to be feeling all kinds of gravity. Across the selection of pics, what we see is Cantor as the more central figure, the one doing the talking, the breezier one, in contrast to Boehner who seems more concerned, troubled, heavy-hearted.
A note about the photo of Boehner standing behind Cantor, by the way. This photo was published in various places this week to illustrate the purported Boehner – Cantor rift. Although you can easily read skepticism, even resentment into this picture, though, it’s such a random moment, it’s really much less reliable than the others.
(photo 1: Jim Young/Reuters caption: U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)(2nd R) walks to the microphones to speak to the media after a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on the deficit and debt at the White House in Washington, June 1, 2011. Boehner is joined by (L-R) House Majority Whip. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Boehner, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).photo 2: Alex Wong/Getty Images caption: U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (L) listens to House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) (2nd L) as House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (R) looks on prior to a news briefing after a House Republican conference meeting June 22, 2011 at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House GOP leaders discussed various issues, including the spending cut, with the media. photo 3: Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images caption: U.S. House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (L) appears with Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and other GOP House leaders to address reporters at the U.S. Capitol on April 13, 2011 in Washington, DC. The House Republicans spoke to the press after holding their Republican Conference meeting. photo 4: Jacquelyn Martin/AP caption: House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listens at right as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, June 3, 2011, to respond to the May unemployment report.)