Speaker John Boehner is running for re-election.
That is what he told a small group of close confidants Thursday night at Trattoria Alberto, his favorite Capitol Hill Italian restaurant, according to multiple sources familiar with the meeting.
He urged the group – which included some of his closest K Street allies – to ignore rumors about his impending retirement. They are wrong, he told the group. He wants to remain in Washington for another two years.
Of course, Boehner’s mind could change at some point, but now, he’s showing all the signs of a man going nowhere. His political operation says he has raised $30 million for Republicans this year. But he faces tests on multiple fronts over the next few months. He is going to have to figure out how to squeeze immigration reform through the House, then there’s government funding and the debt ceiling.
Boehner has seen some high-profile defections from his office. Most recently, his policy director Brett Loper announced he would decamp for the top Washington job at American Express.
Even if he runs for re-election, he still has to pass another test to remain speaker: he has to survive a vote of House Republicans.