Analysts: Boehner was simply tired of the job

WASHINGTON — Before House Speaker John Boehner resigned Friday, he laughed and walked away from a reporter who asked a day earlier if he was going to retire.

Politico reporter Jake Sherman said he asked the question following the pope’s historic speech to Congress.

While Boehner’s response was “an interesting experience,” the writer tells WTOP that Boehner was likely tired of the job and wanted a change. He was often chastised by conservatives and tussled with President Barack Obama over the budget.

Boehner shocked his colleagues Friday when he announced that he would resign from Congress at the end of October, leaving the group in limbo a day after Pope Francis’ historic speech.

Before he announced his decision in a closed-door session, Boehner apparently gave no indication that he’d quit.

Boehner faced the threat of a floor vote that could’ve stripped him of his speaker title. Most recently, tea party members thought Boehner wasn’t fighting hard enough to strip Planned Parenthood of government funds. There’s the threat of a government shutdown looming next week.

“You’ll be shocked to learn that even the pope can’t bring Congress together,” Sherman said.

“Washington Week” moderator Gwen Ifill, who spoke with WTOP Friday afternoon, said Boehner treated Friday morning like any other — going to his favorite diner before heading off to work.

Then, he decided it was time to move on. Ifill says the reporters she knows who cover Capitol Hill were surprised by Boehner’s decision. It’s still unclear who will succeed Boehner, but the obvious candidate is Kevin McCarthy, R-California, the No. 2 House Republican, who was elected to Congress in 2006.

Of course, that decision is up to other Republicans, but Boehner said Friday that McCarthy “would make an excellent speaker,” according to the Associated Press.

Boehner took over the speakership in January 2011.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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