Boehner was not the candidate of radical reform, that was Shadegg, but he was far from being the candidate of business as usual.
To understand his significance, it is necessary to understand what an earmark is. Effectively, an earmark is a clause attached to a popular bill which says "somebody in my district should be given a large quantity of money for nothing" or "somebody who gave money to my campaign should be paid off by the taxpayers". Boehner is an influential Republican, a Congressman for a decade and a half, Chairman of a major committee, and a former Chairman of the GOP Conference who has NEVER put an earmark in a bill.
Roy Blunt's campaign had the cheek to criticise Boehner for this, and claimed it was because Boehner was not properly representing his district. That claim alone marked out Blunt as someone who deserved to lose. To believe that the only way to represent your district is to become its chief pork dealer is to misunderstand both the Constitution and the mood of the Republican Party.
Blunt deserves to be removed from his role as Majority Whip.