State of the Union offers new members some lessons: Eat an early dinner


One such lesson is to eat before the speech. Another is to get a seat while you still can.

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For freshman Reps. Allen West (R-Fla.) and Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.), there wasn’t time for supper on Tuesday. So by the time ITK caught up with them in Statuary Hall shortly before midnight, they were both hankering for a bite to eat.

West had eaten only a street vendor’s hot dog all day, so “yeah, I’m hungry,” he admitted. Hayworth also said she was looking forward to food, but not necessarily to a well-balanced meal. 

“I’ll probably have a brownie that my husband got for me,” she said. “Chocolate is the base of my food pyramid.” Hayworth’s love of chocolate is shared by at least one prominent Democrat: Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who’s spoken often of her appreciation for deep, dark chocolate.

Hunger notwithstanding, at least both West and Hayworth got to sit down through President Obama’s hourlong address, which is more than you can say for Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.). Boozman, a former House member, gave his seat to Delaware Democrat and fellow Senate freshman Chris Coons when the pair arrived in the chamber. “Then I looked around, and there weren’t any more seats, so I just stood there,” he said, seemingly unaware that he was the only member of the upper chamber not seated.