Senator Nelson prefers to choose his own ties

Call Sen. Ben Nelson a master of his tie domain.

The Nebraska Democrat, who turns 71 on Thursday, says he chooses all of his own neckwear — which means his family members know what not to get him each time his birthday rolls around.

And while a tie can pack plenty of punch when paired with a striking suit, the gifts his loved ones opt for tend to be a bit more powerful: “It’s usually tools because I do my own ties. So they can’t get me a tie.”

Nelson, who announced in December that he’s not running for reelection, was sporting a pink tie with a cream- and blue-colored pattern when ITK chatted with him on Tuesday.

The senator must be doing something right when it comes to his neck accessories, because he wasn’t called out last month by a necktie company for having the worst taste in ties among lawmakers on Capitol Hill. That dubious distinction went to Sens. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoThe 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework Overnight Energy: Senate panel advances Trump pick for EPA No. 2 | Pruitt questions ‘assumptions’ on climate | Dems want Pruitt recused from climate rule review Senate panel advances Trump pick for No. 2 official at EPA MORE (R-Wyo.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states After Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward MORE (I-Vt.).

But for those who simply want to give Nelson a tie as a present, fear not. He’ll still wear one from someone else … he just prefers to do his own picking.

When asked if he’ll don a gifted tie, he replied that his family has learned over the years: Best to leave the tie-choosing to him. “I didn’t say I wouldn’t,” he said. “Because I get my own ties, they don’t get me ties.”