IS BOEHNER SELF-AWARE?…. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) will head to a conservative D.C. think-tank to speak on “congressional reform.” By one account, the would-be Speaker intends to present, “his personal vision of how we need to reform Congress to restore trust in ‘the people’s House.’”

What’s less clear to me is how Boehner is able to address the subject with a straight face.

Powerful interests are banking on Republican John Boehner to be the next Speaker of the House, fundraising reports show.

The Ohio lawmaker has collected nearly $7.1 million for his campaign and leadership committees — more than double the $2.9 million that current Speaker Nancy Pelosi has received in similar fundraising, according to data compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. Another $2 million has flowed into “Boehner for Speaker,” a fundraising committee that shares contributions with the group working to elect more Republicans.

The industries giving the most to Boehner: insurance companies, drug manufacturers and Wall Street firms, all of which now face new regulations adopted by the Democratic-controlled Congress. The political action committees and employees of insurance firms, for instance, donated nearly $426,000 to Boehner’s campaign committees through June 30, according to the center’s tally.

By any reasonable measure, Boehner is almost a caricature of what’s wrong with Washington insiders. He first gained national notoriety in 1996, when the chain-smoking conservative congressman, shortly before a key vote, walked the House floor distributing checks from tobacco industry lobbyists.

More recently, Boehner has developed an unrivaled love of corporate lobbyists, with whom the GOP leader coordinates to try to kill jobs bills, Wall Street reform,health care reform, and energy legislation.

We’re talking about a long-time Capitol Hill veteran who literally meets in smoke-filled rooms to scheme behind closed doors with powerful interests, most of which have hired his former aides for maximum influence and impact.

Can anyone seriously expect this guy to offer a credible vision “of how we need to reform Congress to restore trust in ‘the people’s House’”? Is this some sort of joke?

No wonder the DNC released a biting new ad this morning, and the White House blog has already made a persuasive case that Boehner has no credibility on the subject.

This really isn’t complicated. If voters like the idea of House leaders handing over congressional power to lobbyists and wealthy donors, John Boehner intends to make that happen. When he speaks of “the people’s House,” Boehner neglects to mention that the only “people” he cares about are those who write big checks and travel with him on private jets to their next golfing getaway.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.