By Kris Kitto - 04/29/08 05:09 PM EDT
Position: Chief of staff to Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)
Last job: Project manager
First job: Kool-Aid stand
Most unusual job: Sacker at grocery store
Most embarrassing moment: “Mumbling my entire speech for eighth-grade Student Council vice president.”
Favorite political TV show or movie: “The War Room”
Most inspirational figure: “My dad.”
Dream job (not including present one): Owner of a Taco Bell franchise
College: University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
John White knew his speech for eighth-grade Student Council vice president was doomed before he gave it. He was following one of the school’s most popular boys, whose classmates greeted him with “thunderous applause,” White recounts.
As White walked up to the front of the class, no one clapped for him, he says, save for a sympathetic teacher. He was so nervous he pushed the portable lectern off of the table on which it was resting.
But White bounced back. He got elected to the Student Council after performing a routine he describes as a mix between a hula and rap-style dancing to convince his peers to vote for him. Today he enjoys public appearances.
“I look forward to speeches now,” he says.
If you’re ever looking for White around mealtime, try the nearest Taco Bell. He loves the fast-food chain so much that when he was living in Hawaii he would go there five or six times per week. He has since cut back on his tortilla intake, owing to both the scarcity of Taco Bells in the Washington area and the wake-up call he received when an employee at the location he used to frequent expressed alarm the day White ordered a No. 3 combo meal rather than his usual No. 5 (two Taco Supremes and a Mexican pizza).