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Take Five: Sen. Christopher S. Murphy

It’s time again for Take Five, HOH’s opportunity to get to know a member of Congress better through five fun questions. This week, Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., discusses Senate hazing rituals, pizza and memories of Tom Petty.

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy is the youngest current U.S. senator. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo.)
Murphy is the youngest current senator. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Q. How does it feel to be the youngest current senator? [Murphy turns 40 on Aug. 3.]

A. Once you get beyond all the hazing, the wedgies and the wet willies, it’s not a bad position to be in. It certainly perks up the ears of kids in the room [in my district] when I tell them I’m the youngest member of the Senate.

Q. You’re on the Foreign Relations Committee. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A. I think right now I’d go to Russia. The subcommittee I chair [European Affairs] has jurisdiction over Russia and I am absolutely fascinated by the internal dynamics of a country that had gotten somewhat used to liberal democracy and is now losing it day by day. I’m Polish by heritage — I have more Polish blood than Irish blood — and there’s a part of me, as a Polish-American, that has a great deal of curiosity about Russia.

Q. What do you miss most from your district when you’re in D.C.?

A. Pizza. Good pizza. I think it’s absolutely stunning that the rest of the country has not figured out how to make a decent pizza. I’m proud of the fact that New York and the New Haven, [Conn.,] area seem to have a monopoly on making a good, thin-crusted slice of pizza, but I wish someone in Washington, D.C., would figure out how to replicate our pies.

Q. What’s your favorite pastime?

A. Spending time with my kids. I’ve got a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old and they are the joy of my life. My wife and I had kids a bit later in life, when we were in our mid-30s, and I didn’t realize what I was missing. So any bit of free time that I have is spent running around my backyard in Connecticut with my two little guys, Owen and Rider.

Q.What’s the first concert you went to?

A. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and they were a little bit over the hill by the time I showed up. I think that was shortly after I got my license to drive; me and a handful of friends went to the Hartford Civic Center to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on their “Into the Great Wide Open” tour in July of 1991.

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