Meet the Lawmaker: Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.)

What are the best and worst things about Washington?
Rep. Pence: I think the worst of Washington, D.C., is the rampant epidemic of self-importance that dominates the culture in and out of office. The best of Washington, D.C., is the fact that the best-kept secret in America is that most of the men and women who come to work in the Capitol every day actually are honorable, decent people who have the best interest of the country at heart.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Rep. Pence: I would say popcorn at 5 p.m. in my office. Indiana popcorn. If I have not had dinner or do not have plans for dinner, I usually get a bag and almost always regret it eventually. [Former Rep.] Rahm Emanuel [D-Ill.] and his staff, when they were next door, were regular Pence popcorn machine people.

How many autographs do you sign a year?
Rep. Pence: Not that many. Not enough to actually think of a number.

What do you consider to be your biggest political achievement?
Rep. Pence: I think constructing a voting record that’s consistent with my conservative principles and one that makes sense to my grandkids. They’ll say, “Yeah, that sounds like something Grandpa would do.” Or, “He wouldn’t have been for that.”

What’s your favorite hobby?
Rep. Pence: Horseback riding, end of discussion. We mostly just ride Western [style]. Every chance I get, I’ve got some friends who are generous and who have horses, and we were in the mountains this summer and did some riding. The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man. Somebody else said that.

After a long night of votes, how do you unwind?
Rep. Pence: My family lives out here with me, and I have three teenagers at home. And I tell people that my whole approach to my career has been to vote right and go home for dinner. So [after votes I’ll] go home and catch a late dinner, or if it’s after dinner, plopping down on the couch and catching up with mom and the kids.

Has God ever spoken to you?
Rep. Pence: Not off the written page, but I try and read that book every morning. But not anywhere other than the written page.

What household chore do you dislike?
Rep. Pence: That would have to be gutter cleaning.