“Boehner’s greatest strength is also his greatest weakness,” said Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-Ohio), one of Boehner’s closest allies in Congress. He meant Boehner’s lenient ways of leading — a contrast with the high-control leaders who preceded him, including former speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“She got out there and broke arms and got it done. Boehner has not been willing to do that. I give him high marks for that,” LaTourette said. “But it’s not a very effective way to do business.”…

“I think most people right now seem to be underestimating the strength he has in the Republican conference,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a longtime Boehner ally. “If there’s a deal that he thinks is the appropriate deal, he can sell it to the House. There’s no question of that to me.”

But others have said that it will be the deal, and not the salesman, that will make up their minds.

“I think most people like myself are looking for far more than what’s probably going to be able to be delivered” in any deal engineered by the Senate, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) said. “We’re going to have to evaluate it. . . . There’ll probably be some room for improvement from the House perspective.”