Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) is the leader of the House Republicans. Unfortunately, for him, after electoral drubbings in both 2006 and 2008, he leads the smallest GOP contingent since the pre-Contract With America class of 1994. You'd think such a situation would concentrate the man's mind into being serious about crafting opposition to the policies of the Obama administration and the congressional Democratic majority.
No such luck.
For one thing, the man can't even treat journalists with basic respect. Yeah, I know, maybe the wretches-formerly-known-as-ink-stained deserve what they get. But Boehner has a way of personalizing things that are, well, odd. As CNN notes, he has this thing about hair:
He quickly singled out a young print reporter, telling him, "You really do need to do something with that hair of yours." As reporters laughed, he joked, "I couldn't wait any longer."
He went on to finish his opening comments, but before calling on the same reporter, he teased, "Get a brush, would ya?"
The reporter had good sense of humor about the crack from the Ohio Republican, and shot back, "I'll get a haircut if you pay for it."
When Boehner called on the next reporter, he referred to him as "the bald guy."
But Boehner didn't confine his critique to male members of the Capitol press corps. When a female reporter, wearing her long hair pulled back, prefaced her question by joking that she hoped her hair was ok, Boehner couldn't resist: "You mean what's wadded up in the back of your head?"
What is this, high school?
And it's not as if Boehner -- which is pronounced BEH-Nerr, but looks like it's pronounced like another word for a, um, mistake -- has a right to talk about appearances. The man isn't bad looking -- once you get past the George Hamilton 24/7 uber-tan and '60s "Mad Men" coiffure. But, generally speaking, Republicans don't need their leaders commenting on anyone's haircut.
But, the big problem with Boehner is that he isn't doing what the job title says he should -- leading. The party was embarrassed twice over the last two weeks by prematurely announcing press conferences to promote the GOP's alternative to the Obama budget. By the time the budget was actually produced -- by Paul Ryan, ranking member on the budget committee -- it got completely ignored by the press that had grown tired of the "GOP boy-who-cried-wolf" announcements.
Fault for that falls squarely on John Boehner's head.
It's time he focused more on party organization and budget cuts rather than journalists' haircuts.