Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 1, 2014

What Would Mr. Darcy Do? Perhaps Get a Drink With Mark Takano

Interested parties, take note: Rep.-elect Mark Takano, who’s coming to Congress in January, has two weaknesses.

One is his love of Jane Austen.

HOH caught up with the California Democrat at the Capitol Hill Hotel, where Takano and his fellow frosh were put up for New Member Orientation.

Takano, holding a canvas bag full of dirty shirts, was looking for a place that would do his laundry for cheap. (FYI, he reported back later that the House’s laundry service charges $1.85 a shirt, much less than the hotel’s asking price.)

Takano took some time to chat with HOH, though, eager to share what’s changed since 1992, when he nearly won a House seat before the razor-thin margin of victory shifted in favor of his opponent.

“You can tell your readers I have switched from Shakespeare to Jane Austen,” the veteran high school English teacher said. “I usually do a reading of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ with my students. And, as we try to reach for civility here on the Hill, we can always ask ourselves one question: What would Mr. Darcy do?”

His other weakness? A stiff drink.

“I have a Texas friend who calls me ‘Weak Sauce’ or ‘Texas Weak Sauce,’” Takano confessed. “I can handle a couple of drinks, and that’s it. I suppose that exposes a weakness to my lobbyist friends.”

To be fair, Takano did not give up this information voluntarily. HOH had thought he said he hoped to “drink as much as possible” during orientation rather than “drink up as much as possible,” an expression many members-to-be used throughout the week to describe their excitement about learning the ropes on the Hill.

Perhaps we were just projecting what we wished our own plans were during the first week back from recess.

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