Why Boehner Sat: ‘Dignity’

by Robert Costa

Speaker John Boehner rarely stood or clapped during President Obama’s State of the Union address. Instead, he sat quietly behind the podium, listening and showing little emotion.

Boehner’s lack of enthusiasm has been highlighted by the Huffington Post and Vanity Fair, among many other publications. 

But according to Michael Steel, Boehner’s spokesman, the speaker was only trying to show respect for the president.

“Speaker Boehner and Vice President Biden agreed last year to try to limit the number and duration of standing ovations during the State of the Union in hopes of having a more dignified, less partisan atmosphere,” Steel says.

Biden, however, stood up much more frequently, to no one’s surprise.

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