Dennis Hastert’s Portrait Removed From House Of Representatives

GOP Convention 2012

Politico reports that one of the first notable impacts of Paul Ryan’s Speakership has been the removal of the portrait of Dennis Hastert from the group of portraits of former Speakers Of The House that are displayed in an area just off the House Floor. Hastert, you will recall, was indicted over the summer on Federal banking law charges that, it was soon revealed, involved him making payments to cover-up allegations of misconduct while he was a teacher an wrestling coach in Illinois before being elected to Congress in the 1980s. Last week, the former Speaker entered a guilty plea to the charges, not the least because going to trial would have mean that those allegations would have been aired in a public trial.

This is a move that appears to be without precedent since there doesn’t seem to be any other former Speaker whose portrait is not included in the collection. It also means that the portraits displayed now go from Newt Gingrich, who served from 1995 to 1998, to Nancy Pelosi, who served from 2007 to early 2011, and eventually to John Boehner whose portrait will no doubt be added in the near future. Dennis Hastert’s tenure of nearly eight years, which ranks in the top five of the longest Speakerships in American history has, at least for now, been sent down the memory hole. Ryan, of course, spent roughly his first six years in Congress with Dennis Hastert as Speaker.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. C. Clavin says:

    Gingrich left in disgrace with an ethics violation, Hastert is a child molester, and Boehner was pushed out by crazy people who want to burn down the Government.
    Stay classy GOP.

  2. rachel says:

    If the Speaker also decides to do away with the Hastert Rule, so much the better.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’m OK with this as long as they replace it with his mugshot.

  4. hubeee says:

    @rachel: He should be in prison for being a pedophile. More preferential treatment for a crooked politician. Only the poor must obey the law and contend with the Neanderthals in law (sic) enforcement.

  5. Mu says:

    Wiping the record clean of unacceptables, a long tradition of historians

  6. JohnMcC says:

    Well, time to turn over another page.