Take Five

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:58pm

Tuesday is here once again, and HOH is ready to help you get acquainted with another lawmaker through five fun questions. This week, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) discusses filibusters and fried chicken and recalls memories from his days in the Army.

Q: Which Hawaiian island is your favorite?

A: It would be bad politics to favor one island over another. However, I have always looked upon Kauai with fond favor. It is the oldest island in the archipelago and the place where my grandparents, accompanied by my father, who was 3, landed after immigrating from Fukuoka, Japan, in September of 1899.

Q: It is said that during World War II, you were struck by a shot in the chest directly above your heart, but that the bullet was stopped by two silver dollars you had stacked in your shirt pocket. Is this true?  Where did you get those silver dollars?  What did you do with them?

A: Yes, this is true. I won those silver dollars in a craps game with the men from my company. Strangely, I lost them before my final battle in San Terenzo on April 21, 1945.

Q: Zippy’s fried chicken or Kentucky Fried Chicken?  

A: Zippy’s, of course. Zippy’s is my first stop after I get off the plane in Hawaii.

Q: As the most senior Member of the Senate and the second-longest-serving Senator, what has been your most memorable experience on the Senate floor?

A: There have been so many, but my maiden speech upon entering the Senate in 1963 stands out. Present that day were the senior leaders of both parties. [Democrats] Mike Mansfield, Richard Russell, Harry Byrd and, from the other side, Everett Dirksen and Barry Goldwater. I spoke in support of the filibuster. I made it clear that, as someone representing a small state, it was a tool I needed to ensure we were not pushed aside.

Q: When you became President Pro Tem in 2010, you were entitled to a Capitol Police dignitary protection detail. What was the transition like and how did it affect your daily routines?

A: The first couple of days were a bit disconcerting. It was a shock for my wife, Irene. When she opened the front door and saw a member of the detail standing there, she let out a little yelp. But now I am accustomed to it and very grateful for the service of the U.S. Capitol Police.