The GOP luminaries flocked to the installation of Speaker Denny Hastert’s portrait this afternoon — Bob Michel, David Dreier, Eric Cantor, Roy Blunt and John Boehner to name a few.
Tom DeLay, Hastert’s former aide-de-guerre and pal, was in Florida dealing with a family health matter and couldn’t attend the ceremony in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.
But there was one conspicuous non-attendee — the only other living GOP Speaker, Newton Leroy Gingrich.
The two have never been especially close, but Hastert’s portrait will hand in the Speakers Lobby, not far from Gingrich’s.
We’re not quite sure why Gingrich wasn’t there, but we’re efforting…
Former GOP Leader Michel called Hastert "a workhorse, not a show-horse," while Boehner referred to Hastert’s long career as a wrestling coach — saying, "For all of us who served with him…Denny will still just be the Coach."
Boehner also noted that Michel had once put Hastert at the head of a health care task force. "Well, Denny, we’re still at it," Boehner said to chortling.
In the portrait, depicting the speaker standing with his gavel, Hastert is wearing the same red and blue striped tie he donned at the Tuesday event.
with Kathryn McGarr