Mulvaney, however, waged a silent protest that lit up the Internet as reporters and political junkies around the country watched the proceedings live at the U.S. Capitol and broadcast on C-SPAN.
Nine Republican lawmakers voted for someone other than Boehner, three of them backing his deputy, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.
Mulvaney, by contrast, declined to vote for anyone despite being present in the House chamber. Raul Labrador of Idaho, like Mulvaney a tea party favorite who first gained election in 2010, chose the same tactic.
On his way into the House chamber, Mulvaney signaled that Boehner might face a rocky ride to re-election as speaker, urging reporters to “bring your calculator” and telling them the vote “should be interesting…”
Mulvaney, who represents South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District, later declined to respond to subsequent requests for comment from reporters.
“Mick won’t be available to speak,” his press secretary, Stephanie Faile, told McClatchy. “He is spending the rest of the day with his family.”
…Instead of reading Ralph Waldo Emerson, over and over and over, until he has it memorized: “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.”