I SAW YOU EATING A PEPPER FOR BREAKFAST ON YOUR PLANE YESTERDAY. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THAT HABIT?
A friend told me if I ate hot peppers I’d stay healthy. It turns out she’s right: There’s evidence that, for certain people, your metabolism keeps revved up. I’m a big jalapeño eater. I do it wherever I go.
DOES IT GIVE YOU ENERGY?
It helps generally keep you healthy. That’s one of my unsolicited medical opinions.
WHAT DID YOU FALL ASLEEP READING LAST NIGHT?
Peony in Love by Lisa See. It’s set in 17th-century China, so it was a great way to lift your mind out of the day-to-day and send it back in time to a different place.
EVER NEED A SLEEPING PILL?
No. I’m lucky, I fall asleep easily and quickly.
WHEN WAS THE MOMENT WHEN YOU ACTUALLY DECIDED TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT?
Bill and I were on vacation over New Year’s, and I could not make up my mind. He finally said, “Well, you have to decide whether you could do what our country needs—and whether you’d be willing to subject yourself to the process.” Then he said, “If we end up with another Republican President, and you didn’t even try …” And that kind of clinched it for me.
ANY CHANCE YOU WOULD TAP A WOMAN AS YOUR VICE PRESIDENT RUNNING MATE?
Nothing would be a deal-killer. The important thing is you find a person you can work with.
YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY PROUD OF CHELSEA. BUT CAN YOU TELL US ONE THING SHE DOES THAT MAKES YOU SAY, “OH, KIDS TODAY …”?
She’s 28, so she’s an adult today. I just relish every minute I get to spend with her.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU AND BILL HAD SOME QUALITY TIME?
We got to spend Saturday night and Sunday morning together in Washington. We had breakfast, we went out and looked at our garden, which is a great source of joy to us. We visited with my mother, who lives with us.
WHAT WAS THE LAST PRESENT HE GAVE YOU?
He just got me a basket he picked up on one of his trips to North Carolina.
YOUR LAST PRESENT TO HIM?
I give him little mementos I find. He’s collected frogs a long time, and I found a metal frog that I thought was cute.
WHAT DOES HE DO AROUND THE HOUSE THAT DRIVES YOU CRAZY?
[Laughs] He’s wonderful around the house. He keeps it neat and tidy.
AMERICAN IDOL OR DANCING WITH THE STARS?
Both. My mother watches faithfully, so I’m up to speed even when I’m not around.
DO YOU HAVE A TV GUILTY PLEASURE?
TINA FEY OR AMY POEHLER?
Both of them. Absolutely!
THESE ARE EITHER-OR QUESTIONS.
I can’t answer either-or! I was amazed when I was on Saturday Night Live what a great job Amy did [imitating me], and a lot of the creativity came straight from Tina. They go together.
SOUTH BEACH DIET OR WEIGHT WATCHERS?
EARLIER IN THE CAMPAIGN, WE SAW YOU WITH A SHOT OF WHISKEY IN ONE HAND, A BEER IN THE OTHER.
You did? Can’t imagine … [Joking]
YOU RECOMMEND THAT TO PEOPLE READERS?
Not at all. Never. [Laughs]
WHAT IS YOUR DRINK OF CHOICE?
I’m not much of a drinker, but when I do, I’m pretty eclectic. Could be wine, could be beer.
EVER HAD A RED BULL?
No. What is it?
WHAT DO YOU PRAY ABOUT THESE DAYS?
I was in church on Easter, and people were very sweet [to me], but they had so many problems. Health care, their homes being foreclosed on. So I pray for others and I pray for strength for myself.
IN THE TEXAS POLYGAMY SECT NOW IN THE NEWS, WHY DO YOU THINK A WOMAN—IN 2008—WOULD WILLINGLY ENTER INTO A POLYGAMOUS MARRIAGE?
I don’t know how you define willingly. Many of these women were raised in the sect, isolated from the outside world from birth. It takes an enormous amount of independent thinking to lift yourself out of the circumstance you’ve been born and raised in to say, “Wait a minute, this isn’t right.”
YOU HAVE PROPOSED SUSPENDING THE GAS TAX FOR THE SUMMER. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR HOMEMAKERS DEALING WITH RISING PRICES?
I’m a great reader of women’s magazines. I always have, ever since I was a little girl, my mother had them in the house, and I really advise people to look for hints in those magazines. They are so down-to-earth. You can get some good advice.
ASHTON KUTCHER WROTE IN A MAGAZINE THAT HE DOESN’T LIKE PANTSUITS AND CALLS THEM THE “HILLARY CLINTON LOOK.” WHAT DO YOU SAY TO ASHTON?
[Laughs] I am quite flattered to have a whole mode of dressing named for me.
DO YOU THINK TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE HAVING COSMETIC SURGERY?
People have to decide what’s right for them. It’s never been anything I thought was right for me.
IF YOUR HUSBAND GAVE YOU A PASS FOR ONE NIGHT AND YOU COULD GO ON A DATE WITH ANY CELEB, ALIVE OR DEAD, WHO WOULD IT BE?
That’s such a dangerous question! How about Abraham Lincoln?