It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to his or her legislative work.
This week, Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, discusses life on the islands, traveling between Hawaii and D.C., and his twin brother.
Q. What’s your favorite beach or getaway location that tourists don’t know about?
A. I’m not sure I want to tell you that. But actually, my favorite place is a body surfing spot in Honolulu called Point Panic. It also happens to be near the proposed Obama presidential center, so in the president’s post-presidential time, if he wants to jump in the water, he may.
Q: How do feel about the tourists there?
A. We’re big fans of tourism. We’ve set up a situation where it’s a symbiotic relationship. There are sometimes tension in the ocean, but for the most part everyone understands how to get along.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your work with nonprofit organizations before coming Congress.
A. I ran a social service agency on O’ahu, the main island, providing language translation, mental-health services and support for homeless and people who are having difficulty with housing. I did that for just over eight years and it helped to ground me.
Q. How do you manage having a life in both D.C. and Hawaii?
A. I drink an enormous amount of water and I try to follow one simple rule which is to never complain. … You gotta drink a lot of water when you’re on airplanes for [10 hours]. You get dehydrated very, very easily and so that’s the one piece of travel advice I was given and will give to everyone is, ‘Drink more water than you feel like drinking — before and after every plane ride.”
Q. Is there anything else that would be interesting to know about you?
A. You may not know that I have an identical twin brother who lives in Honolulu. … After I became lieutenant governor and then a U.S. senator, he has taken to shaving his head and growing out his goatee so he doesn’t have to spend all of his time saying, “I’m not Brian.”