WASHINGTON -- For House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), it's Merlot and Camel cigarettes. For vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), it's P90X. And for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), it's chocolate ice cream, chocolate bars, chocolate truffles, chocolate candy, chocolate cake, chocolate gelato and chocolate milkshakes.
Pelosi is completely addicted to chocolate. Dark chocolate, to be specific. Even if she exercised, which she doesn't, she'd eat it during her workout. Her husband got her a stationary bike once, and during the brief period that she actually used it, she ate pints of Ben & Jerry's chocolate ice cream the entire time.
"It's okay to eat ice cream while you're riding a bike," Pelosi told The Huffington Post during an interview earlier this month, adding that her favorite flavor is New York Super Fudge Chunk. "If you can't eat ice cream while you're doing it, why would you do it?"
Pelosi isn't your run-of-the-mill chocolate lover. She's obsessed with it -- "madly," even, in her words.
She scoffed when asked if she eats chocolate every day; she'd already had truffles, chocolate candy and a dark chocolate bar that day, and it wasn't even 4 p.m.
"I don't know what it is. But some call it dedication, some call it an addiction, others call it an affliction," Pelosi said. "I knew I loved my husband when I said I would give up chocolate for him. But I also knew he loved me because he'd never ask me to do such a thing."
Pelosi's obsession is well known on Capitol Hill. House Democrats surprised her with a chocolate cake on her 70th birthday, and her office is fully stocked with Ghiradelli chocolate bars, which are made in her San Francisco district.
Those stashes have come in handy during tough policy negotiations. During the 2009 health care debate, Pelosi confessed that she kept Ghirardelli chocolate squares strategically placed throughout her offices as she met with Democratic lawmakers to try to win their support on the bill. When the bill passed in March 2010, and she was asked how she made it through the yearlong slog, Pelosi replied, "Chocolate. Very, very dark chocolate."
When she's back in her district, Pelosi said she makes a point to get "all-around brown" milkshakes, which involve chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup and chocolate milk. Some ice cream shops don't carry chocolate milk anymore, but she said she just makes up for it by "going heavy" on the syrup. That costs an extra $1.25, but apparently it's worth it.
"Just live it up," she said. "Put it in there on the milkshakes."
Pelosi told tales of how chocolate has taken over her life, recalling the time she downed an entire pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk while her driver waited outside her door to take her to an event and the times she ate chocolate ice cream right before bed and woke up at 3 a.m. on a sugar high.
She also broke down her favorite types of chocolate globally. Best candy? Belgian chocolate. Best ice cream? The Netherlands, except when it comes to the best gelato. That honor goes to Italy.
At one point, an aide interrupted the interview and signaled that it was time to go, but Pelosi wasn't done yet.
"Nut and Chews," she said, naming her favorite chocolates from See's Candies, a San Francisco-based candy store. "Sometimes people come in and say, 'I know you like dark Nuts and Chews but I brought you an assortment.' And I'm like, 'What, so we could it eat together? Why did you bring me an assortment?' I want Nuts and Chews. Dark."
It just so happens that your Huffington Post reporter is also a dark chocolate fanatic, so during the interview, a subtle competition ensued. Pelosi's first strike: she'd never heard of Dagoba chocolate, a favorite of this reporter. HuffPost's first strike: the president never sent us chocolate on our birthday.
President Barack Obama gave Pelosi dark chocolate with sea salt on it for her birthday two years ago. "I think that's what they have at the White House, like in those little boxes," she said. "At the time I thought, oh, this is so great."
The interview eventually wrapped up, and Pelosi headed off to another event. But many hours later, when HuffPost was off the clock and at a bar, one of Pelosi's aides called with a message.
"Pelosi just called me," said the aide. "She wanted me to tell you someone brought her a Dagoba bar today. She loved it."
Also on HuffPost:
Nuts Bring Buckets of Same
Just in case anyone forgot that the House Judiciary Committee ACORN hearing was a House Judiciary Committee hearing about ACORN, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/02/acorn-hearing-a-barrel-of_n_376882.html">Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) helpfully brought a bucket of acorns</a> to the House Judiciary Committee. Also that day, colleague Lamar Smith praising the "turnout so early in the day" at 2:30pm, and Louie Gohmert offering up the malaprop: “From one acorn, many nuts can grow.” Like, say, Peter King.
Hello Kitty, Hello Revolving Debt
Credit cards. Were it not for them, we would have to save up money in order to buy things. But do some credit cards take it too far, marketing to the youths? Byron Dorgan thought so when he saw the Hello Kitty Platinum VISA. "Does it seem to you like they’re targeting that 10-year-old, the 14-year-old." Ha! He should see the <a href="http://www.shopinprivate.com/hello-kitty-pink-guilty.html">Hello Kitty vibrator</a>.
"I'll See Your Baby, And Raise You Two Tweens"
Last time out, we made mention of Representative John Shadegg's (R-Ariz.) attempt to wield a baby in order to make a point about how terrible health care reform was. We neglected to mention that Representative Pete Stark (D-Calif.) took it a step further, and attempted to bring two young children to make his own points about health care (5:25 in video), at which point the House was officially barred from trafficking in human props any further.
John Thune's Stackin' Dollars
How much is too much stimulus? When it allows representatives to make junior high math analogies based on topography and astronomy, maybe. Here, Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) makes some stupid pictures of dollar stacks that extend into the sky, to the celestial firmament itself. “If you took 100 dollar bills, Mr. President," Thune said, "and stacked them on top of each other you would have a stack that goes 689 miles high.” He added, "In other words, if you took the 100 dollar bills and not stacked them on top of each other, but wrapped them side-by-side all around the earth… If you could believe this, it’d go around the earth almost 39 times." So, we cannot stimulate the economy, because of science! (1:15 in clip)
Gettin' High On Your Own Supply (Of A Substance That Does Not Get You High)
Representative Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) wasn't having any of that whole "regulating tobacco" stuff. Why? Because it's "not the nicotine that kills, it's the smoke!" So, he argued, why don't we regulate lettuce, to keep people from smoking lettuce? Wouldn't that prevent a "pandemic" of cancers? This would have been a good point, were it not for the non-existence of either a massive industry geared toward curing lettuce and rolling it into cigarettes, or a target market of consumers who were even remotely interested in smoking lettuce. BUT YEAH OTHER THAT ALL THAT STUFF (and the fact that nicotine is addictive) STEVE BUYER IS A GENIUS.
And Now, A Poem From Ted Poe
From Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas): <i>It came on two pages, It has withstood the ages. / The word "shall,'' is only 10 times mentioned, But enough to get one's attention. / No taxes did this law raise, To this day it continues to create much praise; / Two great religions does it claim, The "Law of the Ten Commandments'' is its name. / A current writing, 1,990 pages long, Has a socialist philosophy that is all wrong; / Difficult for the people to understand, And troubling what big government doth demand. / Over 3,445 "shalls'' it does loudly shout, New massive taxes does it proudly tout; / Written in secret by the bureaucrats, For exclusive use of the taxacrats. / The Congressional bill called "Health Care Reform," Is illusionary, the authors are still ill-informed; / Government ought not take over America's health biz. / And that's just the way it is."</i> And so, America, this is why you should have to die of easily treated medical conditions.
And Now, An Even Dumber Poem, From Roland Burris
From the junior senator from Illinois: <i>"It was the night before Christmas, and all through the Senate / The right held up our health care bill, no matter what was in it / The people had voted a mandated reform / But Republicans blew off the gathering storm / We'll clog up the Senate, they cried with a grin / And in the midterm elections, we'll get voted in / They knew regular folks needed help right this second / But fundraisers, lobbyists and politics beckoned / So try as they might, Democrats could not win / Because the majority was simply too thin / Then across every state there rose such a clatter / The whole senate rushed out to see what was the matter / All sprang up from their desk and ran from the floor / Straight through the cloakroom and right out the door."</i> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/22/burris-backs-reform-with_n_400456.html">There's more</a>, but you will probably want to shoot yourself in the face after you read it.
Chuck Grassley Goes All Aggro On The Speaker Box
For some reason, in the course of discussing fuel efficiency standards, Senator Chuck Grassley decided he should drive his point home by shouting out Ashton Kutcher and his movie, "Dude, Where's My Car." Prior to this, Grassley went on an <a href="http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Speech_by_GOP_Senator_references_stoner_0924.html">extended monologue</a> about Pink Floyd's <i>Dark Side of the Moon</i> album and the shards of a broken prism and the "multishades" of light. Just straight up tripping balls, in the well of the Senate. Anyway, as you now know, this TOTALLY fixed fuel efficiency standards!
Sam Brownback Will Save Your Inanimate Genetic Material
Who's looking out for your precious bodily fluids? Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, that's who. And he's enlisted the help of a young girl, named Hannah, who has the power of talking to human embryos! "<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/2006/07/18/brownback-embryo/">Are you going to kill me?</a>" the embryos asked Hannah, who immediately scrawled a picture of this conversation on a giant piece of posterboard, so that Sam Brownback could stop people from killing the stem cells. And then Sam Brownback went on to support a bunch of wars in the Middle East!
The Most Important Prop Of All
James Inhofe (R-Batshit) hates him some gay marriage, and the gays in general. And to make his point, he carries around with him The Most Important Prop in America: a picture of his family. "As you see here, and I think this is maybe the most important prop we’ll have during the entire debate, my wife and I have been married 47 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship." Ha! THAT HE KNOWS OF!