Take Five: Rep. Brendan Boyle
By Ivan Levingston
It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.
This week, freshman Rep. Brendan F. Boyle, D-Pa., talks about Philadelphia foods, a magical week and the time he was on Russian TV.
Q: When it comes to the Philly cheesesteak, is Pat’s or Geno’s your favorite — or do you have a different restaurant you go to?
A: As a true Philadelphian, I would say that my local neighborhood place is the best and not necessarily Pat and Geno’s. … As a good Philadelphian too, you have one place where you order your cheesesteak, a different place where you get your pizza and potentially a third place for the best cheese fries, and I take care of all of them.
Q: Philly sports obviously are a big deal. Do you have a favorite team?
A: I’m feeling very sad these days, but I’m what you call four for four—I’m a die-hard Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and 76ers fan, and in the main part of the office you can see my pennant from the 1980 Phillies winning team, which I was just barely alive for, and 2008 when the Phillies won the World Series. It was the first time in 25 years Philadelphia won a sports championship, basically the first time in my conscious lifetime and it ended up coinciding six days before I finally won my first election, and it was just an amazing magical week.
Q: Do you ever take the Metro when you’re in D.C.?
A: I do; I love the Metro. It’s interesting, I remember when I came here first as an intern in the late 90s being very impressed with just how well the system was run and clean, and I still think it’s a good system, but I have noticed just in that time myself that there are more delays now than there used to be.
Q: Are there any memories in particular from all those years back that pushed you to stay in politics?
A: I had the full-time internship [at the Department of Health and Human Services] and then worked at a little political memorabilia store called Political Americana, and I just remember that was the year of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and the store Political Americana was one block from the White House. And so a lot of international press was coming here … and one time a Russian news crew brought a Monica Lewinsky look-alike and was walking her around town and getting people’s reactions thinking they’re meeting the real Monica Lewinsky, and somewhere there’s a tape of me being interviewed on Russian TV [about] what I thought of Monica Lewinsky, so that was definitely one of the more memorable things.
Q: Do you have pump-up music that you listen to before a big vote or rally?
A: I love the soundtrack to “Rudy” and I love the soundtrack to “Rocky,” and those are both, they are my co-favorites and my two go-tos, and whether … working out, a big sporting event, or campaign time, I will listen to them.