Boehner on retirement: 'It's weird'

Posted at 7:18 PM, Nov 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-16 19:18:03-05

NAPLES, Fla. — Laundry. Vacuuming. Lots of free time.

That’s how former House Speaker and Ohio Representative John Boehner described life so far after leaving office last month, according to a report by POLITICO’s Jake Sherman.

Sherman had a chance to hear Boehner deliver his first speech as a private citizen in more than three decades, to the Forum Club of Southwest Florida — a speech the report described as “upbeat.”

In the speech, Boehner reflected on his career as well as what’s next.

“It’s weird,” Boehner said. “No job, no office, hardly any staff. I’m used to going all the time. Then you’re not going all the time. It’s… different.”

The palpable transition comes as no surprise for a man who has spent more than 30 years in elected office. Voters first chose Boehner in 1981, to sit as Union Township trustee in West Chester. It wasn’t long before he moved his office to the statehouse in Columbus, then on to Washington.

In his speech, Boehner dove into the everyday things — things you and I would take for granted — that he had either been missing or had to relearn.

“I haven’t lived anywhere in 20 years except in hotel rooms,” he said. “I haven’t driven a car for nine years.

“I honestly can’t see what the next chapter of this life of mine is going to look like,” he said. 

According to POLITICO, Boehner still splits his time between his condo in Marco Island, Florida, Washington, D.C. and his home here in southwest Ohio. "On a recent afternoon, he was spotted shopping at the Harris Teeter in Navy Yard in D.C., pushing his own cart as he grabbed groceries," Sherman wrote.

But during his first return to the podium, Boehner didn't just muse on everyday life. He also took the opportunity to distance himself from Washington politics, say some things he wished he could have while on the Hill, and crack a joke or two about the upcoming presidential election. 

Read POLITICO's full report on Boehner's transition into private life here.