Politics Nancy Pelosi Portrait Unveiled in Emotional Ceremony During Final Days as House Speaker Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner reportedly teared up while lauding the Democrat for her many accomplishments and sharing that his daughters see her as a role model By Virginia Chamlee Virginia Chamlee Twitter Virginia Chamlee is a Politics Writer at PEOPLE. She has been working at PEOPLE for three years. Her work has previously appeared in The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Eater, and other outlets. People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 15, 2022 12:36 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Republicans and Democrats alike paid tribute to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday as the longtime lawmaker's official portrait was unveiled and placed on the walls of the U.S. Capitol. A ceremony to mark the occasion was emotional, as Pelosi — dressed in all white — told the crowd her members "had the courage to elect a woman speaker," according to The New York Times. The Times reports that the unveiling ceremony brought together a host of names, from ex-cabinet members and television anchors to former President Barack Obama, who made a virtual appearance in which he described Pelosi as "one of the most accomplished legislators in American history." Love Her or Not, Nancy Pelosi's Legacy as House Speaker Is Nothing Short of Remarkable Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Republican John Boehner, who served as House speaker from 2011 to 2015, even "teared up" at the event, with the Times reporting he spoke of Pelosi as a role model to his own daughters. "Game recognizes game," Boehner said, "and the fact of the matter is no other speaker of the House in the modern era, Republican or Democrat, has wielded the gavel with such authority or with such consistent results." In her own remarks, Pelosi joked that she "would have been a little disappointed if he didn't get emotional," a nod to Boehner's penchant for public displays of emotion. WILL OLIVER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Others in attendance at the event — including Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is currently campaigning to succeed Pelosi when Republicans take over the House in January — demonstrated that the California Democrat's legacy trumped politics, at least for one moment. Pelosi's portrait — painted by the artist Ronald Sherr and completed in 2014 — features the speaker in a suit and pearls and holding the speaker's gavel. It will hang in the speaker's lobby outside the House chamber, the walls of which features the portraits of more than a dozen former speakers. House Democrats Give Outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi a New Title to Honor Her 20 Years of Leadership Pelosi first became speaker of the House — a role that would eventually define her political career and further carve a path for women in congressional leadership — in 2007. She assumed the role again in 2019, stating at the time that she would only serve a maximum of four years in the role. She led Democrats through two impeachment hearings, an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, multiple legislative landmarks and a 2022 midterm season in which her party exceeded everyone's expectations. Shutterstock In November, Pelosi announced she will step down as the Democratic House leader at the end of the year, making her announcement shortly after the Republican Party regained the majority of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, which has been controlled by Democrats for the past four years. Calling herself "a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a devout Catholic" and "a proud Democrat," Pelosi said her rise in the House was a surprise even to her. Hakeem Jeffries Chosen as Nancy Pelosi's Successor, Becoming First Black Party Leader in U.S. History "Never would I have thought I'd go from homemaker to House speaker. In fact I never intended to run for public office," she said. "Mommy and Daddy taught us through their example that public service is a noble calling and that we all have a responsibility to help others." She continued: "A new day is dawning on the horizon and I look forward, always forward, to the unfolding story of our nation – a story of light and love, of patriotism and progress, of many becoming one," Pelosi said, earning a standing ovation and embraces from her colleagues, many of whom could be seen wiping tears from their faces at the close of the speech. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer. Pelosi said she would, however, continue to serve as a member of the House, "speaking for the people of San Francisco, serving the great state of California and defending our Constitution."