The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful People: Page 41 of 50

Age: 65
Hometown: Newport News, Va.
Political party: Democratic
Relationship status: Single

If “policy” were an emotion, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) would be one of the most expressive people on Capitol Hill. When asked in a recent interview how he maintains his health and sanity amidst the whipsaw life of a member of Congress, he provides a four-minute answer on the budget and sequestration. 

Other topics he brings up in a conversation that’s ostensibly about Bobby Scott the Person: the country’s incarceration rate, the rhetorical difference between a tax credit and a mandate, a February 2011 Judiciary Committee hearing, and the war on drugs.

One possible conclusion is that Scott is guarded. Another: This is who he is.

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The congressman listens to books on tape during his three-hour drive to and from his district, but we’re not talking “Cold Mountain.” Titles range from Thurston Clarke’s “The Last Campaign,” about Bobby Kennedy’s presidential bid, to Alex Kotlowitz’s “There Are No Children Here,” a story of two boys growing up in a Chicago public housing project, and Robert Draper’s “Do Not Ask What Good We Do,” on the rise of the Tea Party.

When Scott takes a break from his heady pursuits, he plays tennis, squash — on and off with Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) — and poker (legally, he adds). Last year he was the only member of Congress to advance to the final table of a charity poker tournament.

Scott also goes to the movies every few weeks. He’s not picky; he’ll see whatever’s popular, because “that way you can talk to people.”

But you get the feeling that anything that takes him out of the policy weeds can be described in the same way he characterizes his interest in film.

“It’s just a diversion,” he says.

— Kris Kitto

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