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Tom Cotton Eats Birthday Cake Almost Every Day

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.: "Sometimes I just buy birthday cakes, and I eat them."
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.: "Sometimes I just buy birthday cakes, and I eat them."

Every day is a birthday for Tom Cotton.

Cotton has a reputation for being a very serious man. The military veteran, Harvard Law graduate and freshman U.S. senator gained wide attention for being able to rally 46 of his Republican colleagues in the Senate to join in writing a letter to Iran's leaders objecting to a nuclear deal.

So this is a side most would not expect.

In an interview with the New York Times' Mark Leibovich, Cotton was asked about guilty pleasures. He first answered very seriously:

"You have been described as having very little appetite for frivolity. Do you have any guilty pleasures? I run a lot every morning."

Leibovich followed up, pointing out, "That sounds neither guilty nor pleasurable." Cotton's response might make many readers do a double take:

"But I do it so I can indulge in the guilty pleasure of eating birthday cake.

"Every day? Most days, with ice cream. Early on, when my wife and I were dating, we went to the grocery store, and I told her that sometimes I just buy birthday cakes, and I eat them. And she said: 'Really? I do, too.'

"Even if it's not somebody's birthday? Yes. She went to the grocery store yesterday and picked up a white birthday cake."

Cotton not only eats birthday cake almost every day, but he also found someone who can share in that.

That's where the silly ended, though, in the interview.

Asked about the most frivolous thing he'd ever done, Cotton responded:

"There are probably some good stories from the Army, but they're all classified."

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Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.