House Speaker John Boehner may have drawn a line in the sand on taxes, but you will almost never find him with a wrinkle in one of his ties.
The Ohio Republican is a model of sartorial splendor on Capitol Hill, known almost as much for his perfectly knotted neckwear as his perma-tan. So when we sat down for an interview this week I was surprised when he took note of my own tie.
“I have that tie,” he told me, pointing out that it was good he hadn’t worn the same neckwear as his inquisitor.
“I got it from my wife,” I responded. “Apparently she has good taste.”
I conceded that the tie probably looks better on him given his superior knot-tying know-how. Assessing my handiwork, he didn’t disagree.
“You don’t have a dimple. You’ve got to have a dimple in it,” Boehner told me.
“It’s not that hard,” he added.
With that admonishment, I asked the speaker for a lesson after our interview, and he graciously agreed. So when he was done dealing with my probing questions on the budget battle (hasn’t given up hope for a grand bargain), immigration (committed to a House vote this year) and even his own future (he “fully expects” to remain speaker past 2014), my cravat class began.
We started from scratch with the speaker stressing the tension in the knot and the placement of the left thumb. “Pull down gently” he told his impatient student.
I blamed my problems on the equipment. “I think it’s my tie.”
Boehner wasn’t buying that excuse, yet did concede, “You’ve got to train the tie.”
My ties apparently aren’t trained yet.
When the lesson was over, everyone agreed my knot looked better. Still, the real test will be what happens when the speaker isn’t there to tie one on for me.
He did promise to continue to police my neckwear from this point forward, even if he doesn’t answer all of my questions — with thanks to the speaker for the interview time, the tutorial and the fashion tips.