From a John Boehner ally I was just chatting with, speaking to the idea that Boehner shouldn’t run because he might be viewed as part of the problem:
Earmark reform was a talking point until Boehner pushed it through as a guiding principle. Boehner has never taken an earmark and he made it a point to stare down the congressional appropriators in order to achieve spending and budget reforms. He also stood his ground against a Senate that wanted to load up emergency spending bills (“Not one dollar more.”) with extras.
Since Boehner was elected to leadership, the founding principles of the majority achieved in 1994 have come back into focus.