Meet the Lawmaker Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.)

Residence: Alamo, Calif. 
Time in Congress: Nine and a half years
Significant other: Divorced 
Age: 54

What’s the best and worst thing about working in Washington?
Rep. Tauscher: The worst thing is having to leave my beautiful area of California and my friends. The best thing is that I really enjoy doing public service, and I like the issues that I’ve been working on in Congress. They’re intellectually stimulating and they keep my interest.

What is the last book you read?
Rep. Tauscher: I’m reading three to four books. Now I’m reading Peter Beinart’s The Good Fight.

What did you want to be growing up?
Rep. Tauscher: When I was younger I wanted to be a buyer for a department store. I got to do that when I was 18.

Rep. Tauscher: I thought it was glamorous. I was mistaken. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of hard hours.

Which department store did you work at?
Rep. Tauscher: I worked at Hahne’s in New Jersey. It was a high-end store that was sister to Lord & Taylor. Now keep in mind this was during the ’60s and ’70s.

What is your favorite political TV show?
Rep. Tauscher: “The West Wing.” It’s the show on government I wish we had sometimes. I thought it had really interesting dialogue.

Who’s your favorite character?
Rep. Tauscher: C.J.

Rep. Tauscher: Because she became the first woman chief of staff. Plus she was really cool, and she kept her femininity but had a great edge to her.

What’s your favorite and least favorite household chore?
Rep. Tauscher: I actually like organizing my closet, and I actually, believe it or not, like doing the laundry.

What do you like to do for fun when you’re in California?
Rep. Tauscher: I like entertaining, having dinner with friends, going to movies. I like going to blockbusters the day they come out.

What’s your favorite movie?
Rep. Tauscher: Favorite movie of all time? “The Last of the Mohicans” by Michael Mann. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Hawkeye, and he’s just fabulous.

What’s your favorite dish to make?
Rep. Tauscher: I like to do family-style dinners. I went to a cooking school in Paris, so I can pretty much do anything.

Wow! When did you go to cooking school?
Rep. Tauscher: In the ’80s, when I was on Wall Street.

What’s your proudest moment?
Rep. Tauscher: The birth of my daughter. She’s 15.

Does she want to get involved in politics?
Rep. Tauscher: [Laughter.] I doubt it. Right now she’s like every teenager, obsessed with getting her driver’s license.

What is your craziest constituent request?
Rep. Tauscher: To marry them. We can’t marry people. I can’t believe people think it’s actually real if I do it.

Are you morally opposed to premarital sex?
Rep. Tauscher: No. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.