Seven Unusual Objects in Speaker Boehner’s Office

John Boehner

Over the years, Speaker Boehner has collected some interesting items, many of which now litter – ahem – adorn his office in the U.S. Capitol.  Here is a quick rundown of some of the more unique pieces. 

Walking Stick.  Speaker Boehner can often be found counting his steps with the help of his fitness band, but he has never actually been spotted using this walking stick, which remains in the corner of his office.  According to the Alabaman wood carver who gave it Speaker Boehner, the stick was carved in honor of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous advice to “speak softly and carry a big stick.”  The craftsman claims it is not his best walking stick, but standing at 59 inches tall, it is his biggest.

The Monkey.  Perhaps the most recognizable artifact in the Speaker’s office, the Monkey has a long and storied history.  In fact, it even deserves its own explanatory post, complete with photos and a can’t-miss video.

Reindeer Antlers.  Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI), a reindeer rancher from Michigan, delivered these decorative antlers to Speaker Boehner in the summer of 2013.  Reindeer shed their antlers naturally, so no animals were harmed in the creation of this mantlepiece.

Xavier University Diploma. John Boehner became the first person in his family to attend college.  After seven years of working odd jobs and night shifts as a janitor to help pay for his education, he graduated from Xavier in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in business. In 2006, the University awarded him an honorary degree (shown here) as part of the commencement ceremony.

Personalized Candle.  The Spice of Reading, which is the name of the Speaker’s hometown in Ohio, features Jerry Vanden Eynden, one of John Boehner’s best friends from childhood and the current president of candle company in Ohio.

Recycled Upholstry.  Each Speaker, at the beginning of his term, works with the Architect of the Capitol to set up the new office.  Boehner, hailing from mid-western modesty, specifically requested that all furnishings be covered in recycled upholstery, rather than costlier, brand new material.

Canvas print of the 1822 oil painting by Samuel F.B. Morse, The House of Representatives, showing a late night session of the House in what is now Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.  The original painting hangs in the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

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