Approximately 400 friends, family members and constituents traveled to Washington D.C. to witness the swearing-in of John Boehner as the 61st Speaker of the House. Back in his hometown, a crowd of his supporters gathered at the Grand Ole Pub.
The atmosphere was the equivalent of a Super Bowl party. Bar goers cheered on their man (John Boehner) and heckled their enemy (outgoing speaker Nancy Pelosi).
“Well I am 63 and this has never happened before and I doubt it will ever happen again in my lifetime,” Grand Ole Pub owner Bill Langdon said. “So, to me, it is much bigger than the Super Bowl. That happens every year. Having the Speaker of the House be your congressman, never happened to me. This is a monumental event.”
Many of the people who visited bar felt a personal connection to Boehner just because they share the same hometown, others have actually known the man before he was a congressman.
“I am trying to let this soak in,” said Ohio Senator Gary Cates, who has known Boehner for 28 years. “To see this happen to someone you know is unbelievable. Outside of knowing the President of the United States personally, this is pretty big stuff.”
Cates actually knew him from the beginning when Boehner served as the president of the Lakota Hills homeowners association and as a Union Township trustee.
“He has really started at the grassroots level. It is a real great accomplishment on his part to persevere to get to where he is today,” Cates said. “I am sure I speak for a lot of people, we are all really proud of him for what he has done for our area.”
Former Cincinnati Enquirer caricature artist Jerry Dowling, who was involved in the Lakota Hills homeowners association back in the late 70s, was also at the American Pub to witness Boehner’s special moment.
“It is unbelievable that this could happen. No one expected John to rise up the way he has. This is just flabbergasting. We are so thrilled.”
Judging by the celebration at the West Chester bar so is his community.
“He is the American dream,” Langdon said. “He came from humble beginnings, in a small house with eleven brothers and sisters. He started out as a small businessman. That is quite a journey in one lifetime. That is the American dream.”