No wonder John Boehner keeps getting re-elected. He’s got 11 siblings — 10 of whom have traveled among four busloads of friends and family from Ohio to Washington to attend the ceremonial swearing-in of the new House speaker and 112th Congress on Wednesday.
At noon, the first session of the new Republican-led Congress begins. Up on the rostrum, the speaker’s chair will be the one used on opening day by every speaker since Texas legend Sam Rayburn. After Nancy Pelosi hands over the gavel and moves to minority position — a reversal of the two leaders’ roles four years ago — Boehner will participate in ceremonial oaths in the Capitol room named after Rayburn, who was a Democrat.
And in a gesture of solemnity that just may work for a day, the entire Constitution will be read aloud.
After taking the speaker’s gavel, Boehner will commit to restoring the House as an institution focused on listening to the American people and declare an end to congressional maneuvers that have made it easy to avoid tough choices, his aides say.
Expect wet eyes and grand pronouncements as the new speaker delivers a speech in which he acknowledges how temporary his position will be if Republicans don’t live up to the will of the American people.