California Surfer Goes to Washington
Washington, Jun 22, 2011 - You can expect to see American flags and political knickknacks in the office of most members of Congress. You don’t, however, routinely see surfboards and alcohol posters.
Meet Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican representative from California whose office in the Rayburn House Office Building is a unique spot.
“This is California surfer goes to Washington,” Rohrabacher told POLITICO as he welcomed us to his office for the latest installment of Washington Wall.
The first things that cause visitors to do a double take upon entering Rohrabacher’s office: three surfboards. Although Rohrabacher has a few surfing colleagues in the House, such as California Republican Reps. Duncan Hunter and Brian Bilbray, he’s confident that no one else keeps boards in the office.
“Americans identify themselves with different parts of American culture,” said Rohrabacher. “Some people think of themselves as cowboys. Some think of themselves as policemen or sportsmen or something like that. … I’m a surfer. And I identify with the surf culture. I grew up with it and feel at home at the beach. I don’t drink bourbon; I drink tequila. This is California. So, yeah, it’s different.”
That brings us to the other interesting component of Rohrabacher’s office, which he’s not afraid to talk about: good tequila. Rohrabacher, who has a bust of John Wayne in his office, said: “John Wayne taught me how to drink tequila.
“John Wayne really liked Sauza, and he put two shots of tequila in a glass and then put a couple of ice cubes — just a couple, one or two — and a squeeze of lime, and that’s how he drank tequila.”
Another famous tequila drinker Rohrabacher admires: rocker Sammy Hagar. Rohrabacher met Hagar in the 1980s and said, “We found out about six months into our friendship that we shared something very unique, and that was we both were aficionados when it came to tequila and that we’d tasted all of the tequilas.”
But lest you think that celebrities are Rohrabacher’s favorite people, he’s quick to take visitors to an office wall that features photos of his family.
“My life would have very little value except for the fact that God blessed me with this,” said Rohrabacher. “The biggest prize of all is having wonderful, happy children to live and grow up with.”
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