Nancy Pelosi Eats Ice Cream for Breakfast

There are many things to love about New York Magazine’s cover story on Nancy Pelosi this week: the very prominent photo of Pelosi with Obama just over the House speaker’s left shoulder in the lead photograph; how she takes only the stairs in the Capitol, forcing her aides and security detail to huff and puff up and down them all day long; and how she was shocked—shocked—that CIA types were upset when she suggested the agency had lied to Congress about waterboarding. We learn the secret to her political power on Capitol Hill: thank-you notes, flowers, and, sometimes, calls to prominent donors in an individual lawmaker’s district. “Nancy has a minister’s political skills,” Majority Whip James Clyburn tells the mag. Oh, and she also hates to cry. But the most revealing detail about Pelosi: she eats Häagen-Dazs for breakfast. Specifically, chocolate Häagen-Dazs. Here's the proof, courtesy of NY Mag:

Suddenly, a door opens, and a beaming servant zooms to Pelosi’s side, stooping to show her the contents of his platter: a delicate bowl, piled high with two luscious scoops of dark-chocolate ice cream.

She lets out something you’ve never heard from her before, at least not on TV: a tremendously long and high-pitched giggle, like one that would come from a girl about a half-century younger. “Hee-hee-hee-hee,” she goes, pushing her chin to the sky. “Oh, no, Michael,” she says, “I don’t want that now. Later, later!”

Chocolate ice cream is the staple of Pelosi’s diet: She doesn’t cook herself, so except for a salad for lunch and whatever an aide hands her for dinner, that’s what she eats. “I think that’s the first time she’s ever turned it down,” whispers her personal assistant, later. “The other day, she came in at 8:45 a.m. carrying a pint of Häagen-Dazs with an inch left in it—she’d eaten the whole thing on the way in. She handed it off to Michael, and then two hours later, she said, ‘Where’s that ice cream? Can I eat the rest of that?’ ” (At one point, when she mentions to me that she likes artisanal ice cream, I joke, “Oh, elitist ice cream,” and she shoots back: “It’s not elite. It’s not elite. It’s just a small operation.”)


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