Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 23, 2014

Take Five With Michelle Lujan Grisham

It’s Tuesday again, which means it’s time for another edition of Take Five, HOH’s weekly chat with a member of Congress on some lighthearted subject matter. This time around, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., shares with us her longing for the comforts of home, her sports skills (or admitted lack thereof) and more.

Q: What do you miss most from home while you’re at work?

A: This is so easy you have no idea. I miss the food. Particularly red and green chili.

I was on the floor yesterday or the day before and a member from Kansas said, “What’s so special about that food? You can get Tex Mex chili here in the District.” And I said, “Tex Mex? That is not New Mexico chili. And in fact you cannot get it here in the District!” The second I land [in my district], I think about ways I can get it.

So that’s my routine, day-to-day thing, but the thing that’s hardest for all members: It’s really hard to adjust to being so far away from your family. I can always get a chili fix and bring it with me, but I can’t have my daughter or my mom and my family and pets near me, so that’s a tough adjustment.

Q: What’s your favorite genre or type of music?

A: That’s hard. I like so much music. Probably I like soft rock the most, but I have become a real fan of Regina Spektor and, of course, who doesn’t love Adele? I’m really falling in love with some of our new female artists. Love them. Can’t dance to everything they sing, but I love them.

Q: What’s your favorite pastime?

A: I’m an outdoors person, which is a very tough thing to balance as a new member of Congress. Some of my favorite sports are downhill skiing and softball. … I know about the congressional team and I’ve been asked if I would play and I’ve volunteered to be the catcher. It’s true that I’m a terrible softball player, but you didn’t ask me if I was any good, just what my favorite sports are, so. But I’m a fantastic downhill skier.

Q: Is there some place you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet?

A: I love to travel. I have not yet been to all 50 states. That’s something I’ve really gotta do.

I’ve never been to Maine, as an example. … But I’m going to get to go to Israel, I hope, as part of a congressional trip. I’m interested in a lot of their science and technology work, particularly as it relates to water, being from the Southwest. But it is some place, as a traditional, New Mexico-raised Catholic, that holds great interest for me, and I’m excited to get to go and see Jerusalem.

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?

A: My parents were really good about making it clear that I could do anything I wanted to do. … I came from seven generations of college graduates, a completely different dynamic from even the norm today in a poor state like New Mexico. I was going to be a dancer or an actress, and so I matured late about a career and wanted to be a scientist and thought I would do, actually, copyright law. So I went to law school and dabbled in the science industry, but I am an extrovert, I love serving people and as soon as I got, as a volunteer, a taste for that, I knew it was the career for me.

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