Horace Cooper

While others bring similar enthusiasm and principle, now is not the time for on the job training. Rep. Boehner – one of the original architects of the Gingrich Revolution – can appreciate this reality. The fact is because there are only two years before the next election Republicans must hit the ground running. He’s a gifted communicator and has the political record to back up his statements.

Not one of those leaders who was “for reform, before he was against it,” Rep. Boehner is a man of principle: he has never voted for a highway spending bill in his entire career – not as a back bencher in the minority, not as a committee chairman, not even as a member of the House Republican leadership.

John Boehner has used his time in Congress to support conservative principles. As a junior member he eschewed the table scraps of permanent minority status and willingly took up the fight against Hillary Clinton’s nationalized health care scheme and President Clinton’s anti-home school initiative.

Recognizing early on that the GOP needed to offer a bold vision if the Republicans were to ever gain a majority, he worked with Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey to craft the “Contract With America” and after only four years in Congress had the privilege of becoming one of the most senior leaders in the House. And within the Republican leadership he was a reliable and able advocate of conservative principles including among others taking a lead role in the balanced budget fights of the early nineties and the revolutionary effort to bring market forces to American agriculture policy.

While many thought his political career had peaked after losing his leadership race in 1998, Rep. Boehner continued with party building exercises and instead of souring, demonstrated his principled leadership of the Education and Workforce Committee. And last January, he was rewarded for his efforts by being given a second chance to serve his party—this time as Majority Leader. Why? Because he was the recognized reformer— because he was a renegade who understands that big ideas are the salvation for any political party.

Once again the party needs to make a critical choice. Republicans need a leader who won’t settle for minority status. They need a leader who can ably articulate conservative principles. They need a leader who has actually lived up to the ideals he advocates. They need John Boehner.

Horace Cooper

Horace Cooper is a legal commentator and a Senior Fellow with the Institute for Liberty.