Meet the Lawmaker: Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), 4th District

Something that shocked you about how Congress operates?

Rep.  Edwards : Actually, what’s shocking is that the members on both sides are far friendlier toward each other and collegial than I expected. So there are healthy disagreements on both sides, but good people are good people.

If you weren’t yourself, which lawmaker would you prefer to be?

Rep.  Edwards : Speaker Pelosi, because I like the way she commands such respect among her colleagues, and she’s about business, but she has a really wonderful demeanor. And she’s political; I like that.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

Rep.  Edwards : This is going to be really embarrassing. When I was kid, I wanted to be president of the United States, and I used to tell people I would have four daughters, and they would be President, Vice President, Secretary of State and Speaker of the House. And then I had one son, and he’s going to be an economist.

Finish this sentence: My favorite place in the whole world is…

Rep.  Edwards : Wow, that’s so hard. I have a lot of favorite places. But right now, because I’m thinking about it, it’s Assateague Island. The beach, the horses, the trees, the water.

What’s something you’re passionate about?

Rep.  Edwards : Oh my gosh, one thing? I’m passionate about people, about our potential. I’m passionate about a whole range of issues, but I believe in people, and I can’t even tell you, I am just so thrilled to be here just to work for them. Great opportunity, more than just a good job.

I’m very passionate about chocolate, too.

What’s your biggest political achievement?

Rep.  Edwards : I think my biggest achievement politically was the work I did to get passed the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. It’s made a huge difference in the lives of women around the country, and I’m really proud of it. I was an advocate, and I worked with both the House and Senate leaders in drafting key provisions.

Favorite musician/musical group?

Rep.  Edwards : Well, first of all, I like jazz. And gosh, I grew up with my dad listening and loving Oscar Peterson, a pianist. I like old jazz, too.

What’s your favorite meal?

Rep.  Edwards : Dessert. When I go to a restaurant, I always look at the dessert menu first. I always joke that the reason why I love dessert is because I had to chase the salt with the sugar.

The one thing I cannot tolerate is?

Rep.  Edwards : Spelling errors.

Do you have a nickname? What?

Rep.  Edwards : That I’m going to reveal? Are you kidding? You’ll have to find that out from somebody else.

Are you opposed to premarital sex?

Rep.  Edwards : Tough question, how do I answer that? I’m not going to answer that. For whom? For what?