Cantor, talking about his time in Congress, said Thursday:
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as majority leader of this distinguished body. I look around this remarkable chamber and I see so many friends and colleagues who have inspired me and who have inspired this congress to do great things for the American people. Walking into this building, and walking on to this floor is something that excited me every day since I was first elected to congress.
“As it should.
“Not one of us should ever take for granted the awesome honor and responsibility we have to serve our fellow Americans. This is a privilege of a lifetime. I think of the sacrifices that help me rise to serve the people of the Virginia’s 7th District. … I have truly lived the American dream. That’s what this country is supposed to be about; dreaming big, believing that each generation can do better than the last.”
Our photographers have tracked the Virginia Republican since his freshman year, and our trip into the archives taught us something about Cantor’s Hill personality.
You won’t find photos of Cantor slipping on the House steps. Nor will you find pictures of him mid-bite in a hot dog. Capitol Lens has very few pictures of Cantor even cracking a smile. Throughout his 14 years in Congress, Cantor has remained composed in front of the cameras. In truth, the most out-of-character moment Capitol Lens has captured is the congressman loosening his tie at a Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.
The measured outgoing member of leadership is unique in our archives in that, throughout our hundreds of frames and his countless times in front of the cameras, he has managed to have few awkward pictures taken. As you can see in our slideshow below, from his freshman year to his last day in leadership, Cantor has remained a uniquely poised figure in the public eye.