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Boehner Golfing, McCain Absent During GOP Revolt

During the ongoing saga of the House's "Phantom Session," two items have caught Capitol Briefing's eye:

Item 1: On Monday, John McCain joined the party by declaring "Congress should come back into session," for an energy vote. "I am willing to come back off the campaign trail," he said.

Item 2: On Tuesday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) issued a release commending McCain for his call, trashing Barack Obama and adding: "While Democrats left town for a month-long break, House Republicans have stayed behind and continued to demand a vote on the American Energy Act, which will help lower energy prices and liberate America from its dependence on foreign oil."

Boehner was around for the start of the fake House session Friday but then left town and hasn't been back since. Even former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) showed up today to rally with his GOP comrades, but the current party leader was nowhere to be seen.

What's Boehner been up to? His office says he's been in Ohio raising money for his political action committee, the Freedom Project, and that he should be back in D.C. later this week. He's also doing 18 events in August for GOP candidates across the country.

But Boehner also has found time to squeeze in a couple rounds of golf. Scores reported by Boehner himself to a United States Golf Association site show that he posted an 85 sometime this week at his home course, Wetherington Golf & Country Club in West Chester, Ohio. Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said he wasn't exactly sure of the details of Boehner's 18 holes, but that he felt confident that "if he did play at home, it was over the weekend."

And The Sleuth passes along a tip that Boehner was spotted yesterday at the lovely Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Muirfield was designed by Jack Nicklaus and is the home of the Golden Bear's annual memorial tournament. Here's a nice shot of Boehner and Nicklaus together at the 2005 tournament.

It turns out Boehner was at Muirfield for his annual Freedom Project fundraiser/golf tournament, and Steel said "cancelling it would have cost tens of thousands of dollars for Republican candidates across the country." Boehner played at the tournament too -- while his House GOP compatriots were holding the fort on the House floor -- though Steel said Boehner has generally cut down on golf this year because of back trouble. The stats bear that out, as Boehner's scores, assuming he reports them all, show that he's only played a few times this year.

As for McCain, it would be a big deal indeed if Congress came back into session for an energy vote and the Arizonan actually showed up. This Friday will mark the four-month anniversary of the last time McCain actually cast a vote in the Senate. Since April 8, he's missed 103 consecutive floor votes, including several on energy-related issues. That's a remarkable streak, even for a presidential candidate. McCain is like the anti-Cal Ripken.

By Ben Pershing  |  August 6, 2008; 4:49 PM ET
Categories:  GOP Leaders , House , Senate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Capitol Briefing Takes a Brief Nap
Next: Tennessee Primary Gets Nasty


Mr. Pershing:

In reference to your coverage of the post-recess debate in the House...your Democrat is showing.

Posted by: J | August 6, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

To below poster, truth hurts. You're partisanship for republicans is showing.

Posted by: Arny | August 6, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

OOoops. Should have said to above poster.

Posted by: Arny | August 6, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Indeed it is, and it a large, firm, democrat

Posted by: dave | August 6, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I guess he didn't give up golf for the troops like W pretended he did....

Posted by: What a boner... | August 6, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm from John Boehner's Ohio District. It doesn't surprise me that he is playing golf. That's why he was elected, isn't it?
What does surprise me is that the USGA would accept his word on his scores.

Posted by: Jim | August 6, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

To Jim in Ohio,

You're surprised that the USGA would accept Boehner's word on his scores? Is that a comment on just Boehner's truthfulness, or the truthfulness of all the GOP Congress Critters?

Posted by: Critter69 | August 6, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I hope, pray and beg that the Democrats call the Republican Bluff of

"Gingrich did attract more camera crews, and he used the opportunity to point to what may be the GOP's next strategy: If Democrats refuse to hold a separate vote on oil drilling, Republicans could try to block the votes needed to keep government running past September 30."

It's time for them to draw a line in the sand and say NO NO NO. We will wait till we have full control of Congress and the White House and then we shall fix the country you Rethuglicans have destroyed.

Stand Firm Democrats, America is behind you.

Posted by: Curtis | August 6, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse


Does John break into sobs when he goes over par? There's no crying on the Hill!

Posted by: chucktrotter | August 6, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The grandstanding won't work this year.

And, to the false charge regarding Obama's energy plan (that it consists of a tire gauge), witness his plan via the following link:

To John McBush and the RePubs and Neocons that have brought us, by way of UNPRECEDENTED greed and sleaze, to the brink of our beloved country's collapse, I say . . .



We have witnessed your disgusting and quite coordinated efforts to destroy the middle class, bleeding us unto homelessness, joblessness and utter despair. We have watched you grin broadly while tearing apart our sacred Constitution, next to which and without which our flag, which you pretend to venerate, is a mere cypher.

Said Samuel Johnson, "patriotism is the last bastion of a scoundrel."

So, scoundrels, We The People - the working, middle class families that represent the backbone of America you have tried but failed to destroy - We The People that build your roads and houses and cars, that farm the crops that land on your mahogany tables - We The People that have fought and died for our beloved country with every generation . . .

We The People . . . ARE GOING TO THE POLLS!!!!!


Posted by: VitalCenter | August 6, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

More of the same from the GOP. They even dug up Newt! It's the season of McRove, get ready for a lot nastier stuff. I think if McRove wins there will be extreme bitterness towards that party. If the house and senate go as expected, they should start defunding the McRove White House - Starve the REAL beast!

Posted by: mike | August 6, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

More of the same from the GOP. They even dug up Newt! It's the season of McRove, get ready for a lot nastier stuff. I think if McRove wins there will be extreme bitterness towards that party. If the house and senate go as expected, they should start defunding the McRove White House - Starve the REAL beast!

Posted by: mike | August 6, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the reality here that the Republicans stayed in Washington to "revolt" because they can't go home and face their angry constituents?

I'd suggest you man up, go home and campaign, "my friends." You might be more likely to lose your jobs than you think.

Posted by: jonfromcali | August 6, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

They were simply demonstrating their allegiance to Big Oil. Are they still in DC or are they all gone now?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

So they stay in town and bring Newt in too? I wonder what they did (since 1992-2006) when they controlled congress, to fix our energy needs.

Posted by: Buddy | August 6, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Boehner is one of those Repugnicans who is willing to either cry in public or thump his Bible, whichever he thinks will be the most effective way to manipulate people. Yuck. I knew there was a reason I didn't like golf....

Posted by: Ohio reader | August 6, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

As a Republican, I am far more PO'd over House whip Blunt's absence when the vote for adjournment was taken and tallied. His vote against the motion would have made the motion for adjournment fail.

And where was Blunt...having lunch at the Heritage Foundation. God! Give me strength.

ex animo

Posted by: David Farrar | August 6, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Your tax dollars hard at work.

Posted by: Ellen | August 7, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

The whole gimmick of GOP acting like they represent America with a circus act in congress is typical hoodwinking... like removing regulations and bankers and credit companies hoodwinking poor ignorant folks with contracts that end up making them loose their homes.... This is exactly why social democrats are behind regulations to protect the ignorant from themselves... so how do we protect the ignorant from being hoodwinked by GOP politicians?.. The foolish don't actually don't realize the circus show is supported by big oil.... we need regulations to help folks understand who they are voting for... We must set regulations which insure that a vote is a responsibility... you must know your basic facts of what you are voting for: who are the candidates, what are their issues and what percentage of each income class votes in each party, i.e. 99 percent top wealth goes GOP, majority of poor goes DNC... like Britain's House of Commons and House of Lords... it'll help the ignorant realize who's actually representing them... don't have to rely on gimmicks, sale pitches and scams that way. If you are retarded, shouldn't be voting for America's leader, if you can't be bothered to understand some basic facts of your government, your vote shouldn't count towards our leadership... too many folks are ignorant enough to be hoodwinked, again and again by crooked salesman... regulations are for protection... not a GOP thing, but for the country's best interest.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Boehner should be ashamed!

What are Pelosi and Reid doing during their 'vacation'. Hope they are all having a good time on theirs. I can't go on mine.

McCain not showing up for votes, hummm, how about Obama - for the past two years???

Try to be consistant!!! Okay!!! The facts that we can get on the internet are making you look foolish.

Posted by: vicki | August 7, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey, you don't get a tan that deep, that dark, that "rich, Corinthian leather" with just a tanning bed. You've got to get out in the sun! Have you seen the man sitting on the house floor? He's totally camouflaged, blending in with the seats.

Posted by: BobT | August 7, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Vote or no Vote on the Republican energy plan that is fruitless.

Republicans know Oil Companies are short on Drilling Rigs and the personnel to operate them.

Republicans know the Drilling Rig shortage is the only reason Oil Companies are not drilling on the 65 million acres they now have under lease.

The Entire Republican Stance is nothing less than an election year PROPAGANDA PLOY!

Posted by: Donaldd | August 7, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Nothing says dedication to a cause like offering to show up for work (after a four month absence) to vote for the guys who just gave you two million dollars.

Posted by: MIchael | August 7, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Boner is usually drunk, so why should he show up for the faux session? He can't get a drink in the House.
The only thing Repugs know is political theater.

Posted by: Judy, Salem, OR | August 7, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Democrats are behind regulations to protect the ignorant from themselves!!!!!!!!!!

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Do you realize what you posted?


Posted by: Alan | August 7, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, we need some Americans to begin taking responsibility for their actions. "Ignorance" when signing a contract before understanding what it says is not an excuse for government bailout. You don't sign nuthin till you read and UNDERSTAND what it says. If you don't understand what you are getting into, don't do it!!!!!

Posted by: Alan | August 7, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"McCain not showing up for votes, hummm, how about Obama - for the past two years???

Try to be consistant!!! Okay!!! The facts that we can get on the internet are making you look foolish."

Which "internet" do you use, princess? Sen. Stevens' tubes or the one where, if you go to, you can check out all the recent roll call votes like #164 (FISA bill, July 9, 2008) or #169 (Medicare bill, same date)? Obama voted both times on that day.

In attempting to decide whether you are a liar or an idiot, I am forced to conclude that you're both, which makes you an ideal Republican.

Posted by: WDC | August 7, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

May I remind you that several years ago, John (he's our boy) Boehner handed out envelopes of bribe money (= contributions" = "inducements") on the floor of the House. No doubt, a vote was about to be taken and some Republicans were wavering.

Rep. Tom "I went along" Davis has said that the Republican "brand" ranks below (Chinese?) dog food. Yet, most Republicans seem to be oblivious to their public image. Why else would they select Mr. Boehner to be their House leader, knowing that his "bribe envelopes on the floor of the house" episode had wide publicity.

Why would Republicans block efforts to rein in "get rich quick" speculation in oil. Self-destructiveness apparently, for eventually the extent of the damage done by this greedy speculation to Americans and American Industry will become known. Then, the Republicans will be hard pressed to deny the appellation "rancid Republicans," that they so richly deserve.

Posted by: Steve Cohen | August 7, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for Congress being out of session, since they've all been doing a pretty poor job when in session. Time for a wave of seat changes to clear out incumbent dead wood on both sides of the aisle. Big oil republicans and spineless dems both need to go to make way for honest to God actual leaders, who will commit to quit playing games and grandstanding and start actually analyzing their positions on facts, rather than just spewing rhetoric to fit some 'party line'. They all need to remember that once they get elected, they're there to serve ALL of their constituents, not just the ones of whatever party elected them.

Posted by: Dr B | August 19, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

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