by Jonathan Strong 19 Feb 2014, 12:32 PM PDT
It'll be a bit easier for Speaker John Boehner to get that famous tan now that he has a place in Florida.
The Ohio Republican just bought a condo in tony Marco Island, FL, known for its tropical climate and white sand beaches.
"This area of Florida has been the Boehners' family vacation spot for many years, and rather than continue to put money into vacation rentals year after year, they decided to buy a condo. Their home is in West Chester, Ohio, and will continue to be,” Michael Steel, Boehner's spokesman said.
The new purchase is likely to prompt a new round of speculation about whether Boehner will retire at the end of this Congress, although he has been adamant – both publicly and privately – that he intends on staying on for another term.
Boehner shared the happy news he had just closed on a place to colleagues at the National Republican Congressional Committee's recent winter meeting in Sarasota, prompting gossip among GOP lawmakers about what it might mean for his future.
Buying a new place is a more significant act for the relatively modest Boehner than other top congressional leaders. Sen. John McCain, for instance, famously couldn't remember how many houses he owned. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi owns a place in Napa Valley, California on a road called Zinfandel Lane.
Until now, he and his wife Deborah have owned only a house in West Chester, Ohio. Boehner rents an apartment in the basement of a Capitol Hill rowhouse to stay at while he's in town for congressional business.
To the extent it shows Boehner putting his focus on recreation, the purchase could feed speculation that Boehner will be stepping down at the end of this Congress.
Contributing to the chatter is the fact that, of late, Boehner seems to be letting loose on the job, appearing on Jay Leno and seeming to enjoy his now open war with the conservative “outside groups” that have made life so difficult for him as the top House Republican.