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To celebrate those who got married in 2020, the Styles section of the Sunday New York Times included their “favorite” stories of how people proposed. Among them is the story of how Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey popped the question in December to his girlfriend, Nadine Arslanian, described by Politico as “an international businesswoman from Bergen County.”

I want to list a few things about that proposal and about this story. These items are factual, according to the paper of record:

1. Menendez “sings all the time,” according to his bride. “He sings every morning, every night, and in-between while he smokes his after-dinner cigar.”

2. Menendez met his future wife at the IHOP in Union City, New Jersey.

3. Menendez was introduced “by the owner” of the IHOP to his wife.

4. Menendez was engaged five months later.

5. Menendez and his wife visited four continents in five months and he sang to her on each trip.

6. Menendez was “very, very hot” upon first sight, according to his wife.

7. Menendez proposed at the Taj Mahal.

8. Menendez stood behind his future bride at the Princess Diana bench and sang to her, as a prelude to his proposal at the Taj Mahal.

9. Menendez—who long hinted that “a certain song” would let her know the engagement was coming—sang “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman, the film released in 2017 in which Hugh Jackman plays P.T. Barnum, as a prelude to his proposal at the Taj Mahal.

10. Here is the video of that moment.

11. Despite the proposal taking place in front of the Taj freaking Mahal, the whole vibe here is so very Jersey that you wonder why Frankie Valli isn’t there.

FACT:

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

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