John Boehner in Knox: Duncan is a ‘workhorse’

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner making remarks on Saturday in Powell. Behind him are fundraiser host Pete DeBusk, left, and Congressman Jimmy Duncan.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner making remarks on Saturday in Powell. Behind him are fundraiser host Pete DeBusk, left, and Congressman Jimmy Duncan.

U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, heaped praise upon Knoxville’s Republican Congressman Jimmy Duncan Saturday before a packed house at the Powell guest lodge of businessman Pete DeBusk and his wife, Cindi.

“You have show horses and you have workhorses,” Boehner said. “And Jimmy Duncan is a workhorse. Of course, in Washington, you also have sick horses and lame horses and lazy horses,” he joked.

Boehner, in Knoxville for only a few hours to attend the Duncan fundraiser, did not refer to Duncan’s primary opponent by name. But he did take a slam at the man’s supporters, who are members of the super right-wing Tea Party faction of the Republican party. “Jimmy Duncan is a conservative,” Boehner said. “But they are criticizing him because he is not crazy.”

Boehner, sometimes dubbed “the weeper of the House” because of his tendency to become emotional, paused briefly three times during his remarks to fight back tears. Each time the emotion came when he was talking about veterans on the Memorial Day weekend.

Congressman Jimmy Duncan introduced Speaker Boehner.

Congressman Jimmy Duncan introduced Speaker John Boehner.

But, at other times, Boehner was funny. Like when he described his job as Speaker as trying to successfully “get 218 frogs in a wheelbarrow,” referring to the number of votes necessary to pass a bill in the House of Representatives.

Boehner also spent a large part of his speech bashing President Barack Obama in front of the heavily partisan crowd.

In two substantive remarks he suggested that U.S. veterans should be given vouchers to allow them to be treated at any hospital in light of the present wait-time scandal in hospitals operated by the Veterans Administration, and he suggested that perhaps U.S. presidents should be limited to one five-year term rather than the current two four-year terms.

Boehner got a little surprise himself when he arrived at the DeBusk estate for a private meet-and-greet for large Republican contributors prior to the fundraiser in the lodge. Duncan and his wife, Lynn, had wanted to give Boehner a gift from Knoxville. So, on Friday prior to Boehner’s Saturday appearance, Duncan called his friend Richard Bryan, CEO of John H. Daniel custom tailors in Knoxville’s Old City, and asked Bryan to have a blazer made for Boehner. Duncan sent Boehner’s measurements and Bryan produced the blazer. When Duncan presented it to Boehner, it fit perfectly, said Bryan, who was on hand for the event.

After the fundraiser, the Duncans and Boehner, along with Boehner’s security detail, had dinner at Litton’s restaurant in Fountain City.

Jimmy Duncan has represented Tennessee’s 2nd congressional district since 1988.

Disclosure: My husband, Alan Carmichael, and I are friends and supporters of Duncan and served on the host committee for this event.

Congressman Duncan and his wife, Lynn, presenting Boehner with the blazer from John H. Daniel. (Photo by Bette Bryan)

Lynn Duncan holds Boehner’s suit coat while he tries on his new blazer from John H. Daniel. (Photo by Bette Bryan)

John H. Daniel CEO Richard Bryan and his wife, Bette, with Speaker Boehner wearing his new blazer. “It fit perfectly!” Richard Bryan said. (Photo by Nazzy Hashemian)

From left, former Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist; his wife, Martha; Congressman Duncan; Bette and Richard Bryan.

From left, former Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist; his wife, Martha; Congressman Duncan; Bette and Richard Bryan. (Photo by Nazzy Hashemian)

Pete and Cindi DeBusk welcoming the crowd.

Pete and Cindi DeBusk welcoming the crowd.

More than 200 folks were there.

More than 200 folks were there.

 

Margaret Gaiter, left, with Lynn Duncan.

Margaret Gaiter, left, with Lynn Duncan.

Pete DeBusk, right, with former state Rep. H.E. Bittle.

Pete DeBusk, right, with former state Rep. H.E. Bittle.

 

Speaker Boehner and Congressman Duncan working the rope line after the remarks.

Speaker Boehner and Congressman Duncan working the rope line after the remarks.

That's  Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond at center right.

That’s Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond at center right.

Speaker Boehner greets dentist William Powell.

Speaker Boehner greets dentist William Powell.

It was great to see former weathercaster Margie Ison with her husband, Jim.

It was great to see former weathercaster Margie Ison with her husband, Jim.

Former UT Football coach Phillip Fulmer and his wife, Vicky.

Former UT Football coach Phillip Fulmer and his wife, Vicky.

Former state Rep. Charlie Severance and his wife, Phyllis.

Former state Rep. Charlie Severance and his wife, Phyllis.

If you needed signs or bumperstickers, there were plenty available.

If you needed signs or bumper stickers, there were plenty available.

From left, Shazzon and Tracey Bradley, Judy and Bill Vaughan.

From left, Shazzon and Tracey Bradley, Judy and Bill Vaughan.

Mike Strickland and Allison Burchett

Mike Strickland and Allison Burchett

Warren and Annelle Neel

Warren and Annelle Neel

From left, Steve Arendt, Hash Hashemian, Bill Regas and Janet Testerman Crossley.

From left, Steve Arendt, Hash Hashemian, Bill Regas and Janet Testerman Crossley.

Charlie Severance, left, greets Mark Blakely and Lonnie Strunk.

Charlie Severance, left, greets Mark Blakely and Lonnie Strunk.

Ron Leadbetter, left, and Ken Gross

Ron Leadbetter, left, and Ken Gross

Nick and Lisa McBride

Nick and Lisa McBride

Nancy and Charles Wagner

Nancy and Charles Wagner

Lynn Duncan, left, with Bo and Lisette Carey.

Lynn Duncan, left, with Bo and Lisette Carey.

State Rep. Bill Dunn, right, with Liz and Wes Stowers.

State Rep. Bill Dunn, right, with Liz and Wes Stowers.

From left, Jason and Whitney Brown with their daughter, Emma; Hallie and Zane Duncan. Whitney and Zane are two of the Congressman's four children.

From left, Jason and Whitney Brown with their daughter, Emma; Hallie and Zane Duncan. Whitney and Zane are two of the congressman’s four children.

State Rep. Steve Hall and his wife, Janet.

State Rep. Steve Hall and his wife, Janet.

County Commissioner Mike Hammond, right, with sons Jack Ryan and Seth Hammond.

County Commissioner Mike Hammond, right, with sons Jack Ryan, left, and Seth Hammond.

Bill Pittman and Tina Rolen

Bill Pittman and Tina Rolen

Gerald Turner, left, with Mike and Sandy Boyd.

Gerald Turner, left, with Mike and Sandy Boyd.

Doug and Melissa White

Doug and Melissa White

Former Knoxville City Councilman Larry Cox and his wife, Brenda.

Former Knoxville City Councilman Larry Cox and his wife, Brenda.

Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Shanks and her husband, Greg.

Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Shanks and her husband, Greg.

County Commissioner-elect Bob Thomas and his wife, Kim.

County Commissioner-elect Bob Thomas and his wife, Kim.

Alan Carmichael and Charley Sexton of Moxley Carmichael, both of whom worked on the fundraiser.

Alan Carmichael and Charley Sexton of Moxley Carmichael, both of whom worked on the fundraiser.

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8 Responses to John Boehner in Knox: Duncan is a ‘workhorse’

  1. Alan Carmichael, on May 28th, 2014 at 9:49 am said:

    It’s amazing how much Charley and I look like our avatars, but I know Charley planned it that way. I believe half the suits and blazers at the event came from John H. Daniel. I know mine did. (It’s 2 for 1 now folks). I like the voucher plan for veterans to let them get the best health care available. It’s nice that the Speaker recognized the hard work that Congressman Duncan puts in in Washington and in the district.

  2. Fay Bailey, on May 28th, 2014 at 10:14 am said:

    Looked like a great turnout. Wish I had been there to shake John’s hand. I am a big fan. Of course I am a fan of Jimmy’s ,too.

  3. Betty Bean, on May 28th, 2014 at 11:34 am said:

    Aaah, diversity at DeHouse!

  4. Pingback: Great Coverage of Congressman Duncan’s Kick-Off on Blue Streak - BrianHornback.com

  5. Cynthia Moxley, on May 29th, 2014 at 3:43 pm said:

    It was an awesome turnout. Wish I had taken some photos of some of Holly Hambright’s amazing food spread. Her trademark candied bacon was a huge hit.

  6. Teresa Stang, on May 30th, 2014 at 7:32 pm said:

    From this article it appears that both Ms Moxley and Rep Boehner are misinformed. The TEA party is not a “super right wing … faction of the Republican Party.” Rather the TEA party is made up of citizens concerned about the direction that this country has taken. It is a far cry from what was intended by the Founding Fathers. Washington spends more than it takes in, acts like it knows what’s best for us, and certainly does not know what the work “servant” in public servant means. This has been a problem with both paries. The TEA party wants less tax and less government. Is that “crazy”?

    I have not heard any TEA party members criticize Jimmy Duncan. The problem is one of career politician. Even Jason Zachary, who is running against Mr. Duncan, speaks well of the representative. But many of us would like to see term limits. Without such legislation and without politicians taking them out of office it is left to the voters to enact another form of term limits.

    The 2nd district seat has been held by the Duncan family entirely too long. How can you be a true representative of a district in Tennessee when you have spent so many years in DC and are not willing to hold a true Townhall style meeting with those who live in your district?

  7. Teresa Stang, on May 31st, 2014 at 10:15 am said:

    Just one other after thought … the TEA party is probably more aligned with the Republican platform than the Republicans in office.

  8. Cynthia Moxley, on May 31st, 2014 at 11:38 am said:

    Thanks for your comments, Ms. Stang. I think the Tea Party is wise not to criticize Congressman Duncan. He is one of the most conservative snd respected members of Congress and we in East Tennessee are lucky to have him representing us.

    As far as your thoughts on term limits, voters in District 2 have had 26 years to replace Congressman Duncan and have wisely chosen not to do that. He now has the seniority and experience that no freshman member could hope to match. And he uses that on behalf of his constituents.

    We do not need a town hall meeting to know his positions on issues as he is extremely accessible and visible in the district.

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