Several years ago, when Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was in the early months of his presidential campaign, your grandmother's favorite print publication asked his wife, Ann, to spill some dark details about the Republican candidate.
After Parade learned that Mitt listened to the Beatles, and had just finished reading "an economic book," it asked Ann to share "something bad" that he enjoyed eating or drinking. Instead of revealing that he once consumed an entire human heart or subsisted only on the blood of baby pandas, Ann said that occasionally, he enjoys some low-fat chocolate milk.
Romney ultimately lost to Barack Obama in the general election a year later, and after spending a few years out of politics, he returned to the Senate in 2018. That chocolate milk thing, though, apparently never went away.
On Tuesday, Romney was a straight-up rebel, walking into the Senate chamber carrying a bottle of chocolate milk with the subtext "What're you gonna do about it?" But instead of a standoff that further delayed President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, he was reminded that he would have to drink his moo-moo juice out of a glass like the other big boys and girls in the Senate.
The Wall Street Journal reported that a Senate page took Romney's bottle, poured it into a glass, and returned it to him at his seat. For the record, it was a bottle of BYU Creamery chocolate milk, from Romney's undergrad alma mater. (The BYU Creamery is a big deal on the school's dry campus, providing an essential component of its annual Milktoberfest, because having a bottle of milk in Provo can be just as much fun as chugging an oversized lager in Munich. Probably.)
The Senate has allowed its members to drink milk in the chamber since January 24, 1966, when then Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-Ill.) asked the presiding officer, Sen. Maurine Neuberger (D-Ore.), whether he could have some milk right then. "Is it in violation of the Senate rules if the Senator from Illinois asks one of the page boys to go to the restaurant and bring him a glass of milk? If it is in violation of the rules, I'll forget it," he said. There was nothing in the rules prohibiting it—and there still isn't—but according to NPR, the senators now have to provide their own milk.
It seems like every year, Romney has to do something that, in his mind, makes him look like a Relatable Human Man. In 2018, Romney told the attendees at one of his Senate campaign dinners that he had two favorite meats.
"My favorite meat is hot dog, by the way. That is my favorite meat,” he said. “My second favorite meat is hamburger. And, everyone says, oh, don’t you prefer steak? It’s like, I know steaks are great, but I like hot dog best, and I like hamburger next best."
And last year, his staffers gave him a birthday cake made out of Twinkies ("My favorite snack!" he tweeted) and instead of blowing the candles out the way that anyone who is currently alive on this planet might do it, Romney lifted each candle out of the cake, and extinguished them all individually.
We're already looking forward to 2021, when Romney kicks back in his chair and tells a group of visiting high schoolers that he enjoys relaxing in a Sterilite tub filled with Dippin' Dots, or that he sleeps in a professional-grade cotton candy machine.
So yeah, maybe that bottle of milk's not such a big deal after all.