... a memoir that often reads like [Boehner's] simply here to share some of his favorite tales over a couple of drinks ... Boehner is candid but never cruel in his recollections, with the exception perhaps of Sen. Ted Cruz ... It's refreshing to read a memoir with a politician's honest accountings of repeated failures rather than self-inflated successes.
Written in his folksy manner, On the House is certainly more entertaining than the standard 'halls of power' narratives, as Boehner calls them ... But as a work of history, the book falls short. Most important, Boehner doesn’t acknowledge the role that his generation of Republicans played in building the bridge from Ronald Reagan’s era to our current times ... until senior Republicans acknowledge how they helped radicalize the party, there is little hope that it will transform itself. Boehner’s memoirs are an X-ray into the mind of Reagan-era Republicans who did whatever was necessary to win and who today are seeing the high costs of their decisions.
Reading John Boehner‘s political memoir is probably a lot like sitting down next to an old timer at the bar where he worked growing up in Ohio. There’s a lot of talk about the way things used to be and, before you know it, you’ve had one too many and you’re not sure how you’ll get home...That is to say, the former Republican House speaker is good company throughout On the House, out this week. You can practically hear him uncorking another bottle of merlot as he literally curses the colleagues who made his job unbearable ... As with barstool tales, however, you might be left wondering what it all adds up to. Boehner indulges in lengthy digressions about high school football with Gerry Faust and golf with Jerry Ford. Even the juiciest stories from Congress aren’t particularly surprising, given Boehner’s well-known contempt for Republicans who were more interested in making headlines than making laws ... Trump isn’t a major figure in the book, since Boehner watched his administration from the sidelines after retiring from Congress in 2015. Depending on your appetite for all things Trump, this leaves the book feeling pleasantly retro or frustratingly archaic.