Since 1968, one desk drawer in the United States Senate has always been stocked full of candy and sweets.
Traditionally, one senator who sits near a busy entrance is elected each year to fill his desk with candy and keep it full for the other members. This “sweet” tradition has only been public knowledge since the mid-1980s, before which it was kept a secret.
The current candy desk is occupied by Sen. Patrick J. Toomey from Pennsylvania.
Food is typically forbidden inside the Senate chamber. However, unable to resist his urges, one Californian senator named George Murphy started to fill his desk with candy in the 1960s. His colleagues would often catch him sneaking a snack from his drawer, though, so he began to share his candy in exchange for their silence.
The senators who secretly shared the sweets began to call Murphy’s seat the “candy desk.” Soon after that, word spread around Capitol Hill, as everyone was keen on the idea of hiding snacks in one in the Senate chamber.
After he was defeated in the 1970 elections, Murphy’s six-year term ended and he left the Senate. Still, other Republican senators carried on the custom and continued to fill a desk with candy for the enjoyment of their colleagues. Thus, a tradition was born.
The task of keeping the practice alive passed from senator to senator, with Paul Fannin, Harrison Schmitt, Roger Jepsen, and Steve Symms all taking the job at some point. Symms was the first to break away from the traditional hard candy, filling the drawer with chocolates from his home state of Idaho. Over the years, many different spots around the chamber had the privilege of being the candy desk, as the role continued to change hands.
Where are the locations of the the condom desk, the slush fund desk, the sex toy desk, the liquor desk, the cigar desk, the back stabbing knife desk, etc. etc.
This story is quaint… I ain’t buying it. Politicians aren’t “sweet.”