Home

Take Five: Rep. Derek Kilmer

Kilmer. Big "Star Wars" fan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH  talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.  

This week, Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., discusses his "Star Wars" obsession, the pros and cons of winning a jalapeño eating contest, and teleportation.  

Q: Do you have a favorite pastime? A: I’m a huge movie buff. In fact, my first job was working in a video store. I love watching movies. I have to confess that now that I have a five-year-old and an eight-year-old, my viewing now skews substantially to Disney. That’s something where, when we find the time, I love to go catch a film.  

Follow Up: Do you have a favorite movie? I imagine that you don’t count "Star Wars," ‘cuz that’s a whole love in and of itself. I’m probably the biggest "Star Wars" fan in the United States Congress. Outside of that, there are two movies where — when I’m flipping channels — no matter when they’re on, I will sit and watch. Those are "The Princess Bride" and "Shawshank Redemption." But I’ve probably seen "Star Wars" more than I would want to admit.  

Q: If you could have any superpower, what would you choose? A: That’s a good question. I would go with teleportation, because it would really make my commute back to the district a lot easier.  

Q: What do you see as the biggest difference between Washington state and Washington, D.C.? A: The biggest difference? Well for one, we have a football team that we’re actually proud of.  

Q: You recently started doing a series on Twitter called #AskDerek. What prompted this idea? How do you think it’s going so far? A: I’m conscious of the fact that Congress is currently less popular than head lice. So I think it’s important to stay in touch with the folks you represent, so I’m constantly looking for ways to be more available and accessible and accountable to the folks I represent. So that’s why I’m doing it. I think it's going well. That said, it's difficult to answer, ‘What should we do in the Middle East?’ in 140 characters or less.  

Q: Is there anything you wish I had asked you? A: You know, two things come up on occasion. That I was last year’s winner of Rep. Henry Cuellar’s congressional jalapeño eating contest, which was really a great day. The next day, not so much. I wore the jalapeño gold medal for several days after that.  

And people ask about family stuff a lot. I got two little kids who are awesome. One of the things I do when I get on an airplane to fly to D.C. each week is I actually write them a letter, and email, just to explain why dad is not going to be home this week. Talk about what we're doing back there, just try to help them understand better why I’m doing this.  

The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Topics: takefive icnw