With Donald Trump’s impeachment trial underway, these are contentious days in the Senate chamber. Tempers are short. The temptation to rebel and break the impeachment trial rules—which, to be fair, have been the subject of much argument—must be strong. And so yesterday, Mitt Romney, former presidential candidate and current senator from Utah, gave in, and damn the consequences. He—oh, my gosh, I can’t even believe I’m about to type this—was caught drinking a bottle of chocolate milk on the Senate floor!
Romney, as we all learned during his presidential run in 2012, is a devout Mormon. This means he’s not allowed to consume alcohol and caffeine, which puts some tight limits on his beverage choices. He still has some vices, though, and one of them, his wife Ann told the world in 2011, is chocolate milk. (His preferred brand, she told Parade, was “Over the Moon Chocolate Milk, which is the low-fat kind.”)
The Senate has nothing against milk, chocolate or otherwise. Although water—both still and sparkling, served by Senate pages—is officially the only beverage allowed in the chamber, the Wall Street Journal reports that “the Senate historian points to ‘anecdotal evidence’ that in past years, senators have been allowed to sip other beverages in the chamber, and during the impeachment trial of President Trump, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have been seen sipping milk at their desks, including Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D., Wis.), Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), Richard Burr (R., N.C.) and Ted Cruz (R., Tex.).”
But that milk must be drunk out of a glass. The United States Senate is a civilized place, after all. And there was Romney, swigging his bottle of chocolate milk like a common thug! (The milk itself came from a constituent, the campus creamery of Brigham Young University, which also happens to be Romney’s alma mater.)
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After a Senate staff member “gently chided” him for his transgression, the Journal continued, Romney retreated to the Republican cloakroom with his offending bottle and returned a few minutes later with the milk in a glass. And all was well once more. Well, as far as Romney’s chocolate milk was concerned. “A few feet away,” the article notes, “Sen. Ron Johnson was openly snacking on Sour Patch Kids.”
The incident brings to mind this moment of cinematic greatness: