After his appointment as George W. Bush’s first attorney general, John D. Ashcroft became one of the administration’s most controversial members. Running the Justice Department in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Ashcroft helped implement antiterror initiatives, including the USA Patriot Act.
A native of Missouri and a Yale graduate, Ashcroft served as the state’s governor before being elected to the Senate in 1994. He lost reelection in 2000 to Mel Carnahan, who had died in a plane crash two weeks before the election. An avid singer and evangelical Christian, Ashcroft was part of the Singing Senators quartet while on Capitol Hill with Trent Lott, Jim Jeffords, and Larry Craig.
Upon leaving office in 2005, he founded the Ashcroft Group consulting firm, which helps companies with government contracting and corporate governance.
What’s your favorite place in Washington? The Lincoln Memorial.
Favorite pastime? Playing the piano. I play to relax and to clear my mind.
Favorite movie? The Princess Bride.
Favorite book? The Bible.
Favorite author? Christian thinker Francis Schaeffer, author of Trilogy; How Should We Then Live?; and A Christian Manifesto.
What is on your bookshelf? 1776 by David McCullough.
Favorite song? “Amazing Grace.” The song reminds me that no matter how much we sin, God’s grace is sufficient. It comforts me to know that God’s grace extends to me.
Favorite singer? Gospel singer Sandi Patty.
All-time favorite restaurant? Young Chow on the Hill.
Favorite food? Turkey at Thanksgiving dinner.
Favorite drink? Chocolate milkshake.
Favorite vacation spot? Yosemite National Park.
Your proudest achievement? I am very grateful I was able to serve the President and the country during a turbulent time as attorney general.
Coolest thing you have ever done? I raced Austrian skier Franz Klammer downhill.
Historical figure you would most like to meet? Abraham Lincoln. He served during a time when the United States was at odds with itself, and by standing firm to the principles on which this country was founded, he was able to hold us together.
Favorite object you own? A piano.
Thing that scares you most? Not being prepared.
Thing that others would be surprised to learn about you? I own more than a half dozen motorcycles and try to ride them as often as I can.
What makes Washington special? Washington represents democracy, freedom, opportunity, and choice.