D.C. was left stunned Friday by the unexpected announcement that House Speaker John Boehner, who's been in Congress since 1991 and has held the role of House Speaker since 2011, was abruptly resigning from Congress. The day before, during Pope Francis' historic speech to the assembled government — the first time a sitting Pope has ever done so — Boehner openly cried quietly as the Pope got up to speak, leading many to ask whether Boehner's tears Thursday were related to what he knew he was planning to do.
Obviously, there's no telling whether that was in the back of Boehner's mind at the time — the official statement from Boehner's office was curt and to the point. "Speaker Boehner believes that the first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution and, as we saw yesterday with the Holy Father, it is the one thing that unites and inspires us all," it began. "The Speaker's plan was to serve only through the end of last year."
However, Boehner is well aware that real men do, in fact, cry, and is no stranger to crying in public. He's been moved to tears in public several times before before — an interview with 60 Minutes, a ceremony honoring Winston Churchill, and an unveiling of a Rosa Parks statue have all left him emotional, among other events, according to Politico.
If Boehner was moved to tears during a ceremony for golfer Arnold Palmer, his resignation from Congress after a 24-year tenure is more than likely to provoke a display of emotion. But whether Boehner made this decision this week, and found himself crying when Pope Francis stepped up to give his historic speech, or knew all along and was merely blown away by the weight of the moment — well, we'll have to wait for his memoirs.