Take 5: Rep. Patrick Meehan

Meehan, shown here chipping to the green during the First Tee Congressional Challenge tournament in 2014, says he already has a foursome picked out for a trip to Ireland. (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. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., talks about cheesesteak, Philadelphia and working on Senate campaigns.  

Q : I know you’re a hockey fan. Who is your all-time favorite professional player? A :  Terry O'Reilly from the Boston Bruins — he just played the game with so much heart and he inspired his teammates.  

Q : How do you take your Philly cheesesteak? A : Cheesy wit'. If you’re from the area, that’s the only way you have it. Of course, that means fried onions and I actually ask, if you’re smart, you ask for the provolone so you don’t get the Cheez Whiz. We started to use Geno’s more than Pat’s. But they’re both great. I got to know Geno [the original owner who died in 2011].  

[Locals order by saying “wit” or “wit-out,” meaning with or without onions, which is a reference to the Philadelphia accent.] Q: What is your favorite historical site in Philadelphia that you like to visit? A : I’m partial to Independence Hall because of what happened there. When I was a U.S. attorney, my office looked right at it. I also live on the Brandywine Battlefield and that’s a spectacular location to me even though it was not a good day for patriots.  

Q: You worked as a campaign aide before running for office. What campaign were you on and what did you learn from it? A : I worked on a number. I managed two Senate races, Specter [the late Arlen Specter, who at the time was a Pennsylvania Republican] and Santorum [former Sen. Rick Santorum, also a Keystone State Republican] victories. I learned that it moves fast, there’s an old saying in politics, there’s the quick and the dead. You have to be quick to be relevant in fast moving news cycles. I still keep in touch with Santorum somewhat, not particularly because you know, we moved into different circles but I had a chance to become very close with his family and a number of people who worked there and had a lot of respect for them all.  

Q: Where have you always wanted to travel to and haven’t yet? A : Ireland with my children. I have been there numerous times with my wife, but never with my college-age boys; we would all love to go together. That would be, in my mind, the trip I would like to take the most. I’m a golfer and it would be a natural foursome, we have three sons and myself.  

Editor’s note: Look out for Meehan participating in the Congressional Hockey Game on March 2. The game is at 7 p.m. at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va.  

Contact Gangitano at AlexGangitano@cqrollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @AlexGangitano .

Patrick Meehan Faces Off on Hockey, Winter Classic See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call's new video site.

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