January 9th, 2009
11:28 AM ET
3 years ago

TIME.com: The First Gen Y Congressman

Schock spoke at the Republican National Convention in September of last year.
Schock spoke at the Republican National Convention in September of last year.

(TIME.com) - The new Congress that convened this week is the oldest in history, with the average Representative's age rising to a record 57. That's three decades older than Aaron Schock, the youngest member of Congress and the first to be born in the 1980s. The 27-year-old Illinois Republican is already a political veteran: he won a seat on Peoria's school board at 19, rose to school-board president at 23 and then won two terms in the Illinois state legislature. He spoke with TIME about his early success, reaching out to Gen Y voters and the odds of having any fun in Washington.

Most of your colleagues in Congress are old enough to be your parents. How do you see the job differently than they do?

It's a little lonely being the only one in my 20s here. But obviously, I do bring somewhat of a different perspective because I hope to be around as an American citizen for the next 50 years, Lord willing. The programs we're voting on and the policies we're implementing are things my generation will be paying for for the next 50 years. So I look at it in a different light than somebody who may be in their 60s or 70s.

Do you think of yourself as part of Generation Y? How would you describe people your age?

I hadn't until I became a candidate and I was informed that I'd be the first Gen Y Congressman, so I actually started a leadership PAC as a candidate that was titled GOP Generation Y Fund. So I've tried to play off that to my benefit and to the benefit of other young candidates who might be running in the future.

As far as this generation, I think we're a very involved and engaged demographic. I think you saw that in the last election.

Click here to read more on TIME.COM


Filed under: Aaron Schock • Congress
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Kim

    Another shining example of how the GOP is determinied to put complete incomitent people in their party. They seem to think that PTA and school board membership is good enough for Washington. When will they learn? Its a joke, and I am glad hes on the other side

    January 9, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Is it Jan 20th yet?

    I don't know.. on the one hand its nice to have a fresh new point of view, but on the other hand this person has never had a carreer outside of politics. I think spending time in the private sector would have been invaluable in terms of understanding the issues and challenges that his constituents face

    January 9, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. obama-mama

    Good for him…I like hard working young people. Hope he is successful and not succumb to corruption

    January 9, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. obama-mama

    @Gerda: You are not smart at all....

    January 9, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Proud American

    Dear god I sure hope the republican Idiot thinks he's going to be president. He has to wait until he's fat, bald, stupid and become a hateful racist. Good luck

    January 9, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. AnnMM

    I don't trust anyone that's a Republican in their 20's. We all get a little more conservative as we grow older, what is this kid going to be like at 50? Egads.

    January 9, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. Norom

    Proud Texan-
    Ignorance is bliss?

    January 9, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. We're NOT "your friends"!!!

    It's about time. It's our future that you people have been F-ing up. Even though he's a Republican I still gotta give the kid some props, I'd LOVE to run for congress. Time to dump all the old, stupid and pointless ideas for some that will actually benefit the people. I saw his interview on Chris Matthews earlier this week and it seems that he can somewhat hold his own. He's deffinately a pol. though, not answering a direct question. Good luck to you sir and remember, country b4 party PLEASE!!!!

    January 9, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. james-brooklyn, ny

    Good luck! Hope you help those old folks to think smart, and let them know tough talks with mean faces lead to nowhere...time for change welcome aboard, young sir.

    January 9, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. Proud American

    Palin & Schock in 2012. Palin can always burp him and change his diapers on the trail. The RNC should start shopping for her now, their are alot of after Christmas deals out there on clothes.

    January 9, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Looks like a slick preacher to me.

    January 9, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. TG From Red State GA/Metro Atlanta Area

    Congrats. Hopefully there will be more young conservatives, especially of color, to turn around the fortunes of the GOP. As a black man who voted for McCain, the Party should really change the status quo of who gets elected with an R behind their name.

    January 9, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Matt

    @ Lisa V

    hahaha...so true...we're looking at the Justin Timberlake of the GOP lol

    January 9, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. p davis

    She didn't care about the types of comments she was making to the press now everything is off limits when it best suits her life style

    January 9, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. KD

    Congrats to you, Hope you have a good influence, and,teach old dogs new tricks, LOL

    January 9, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Peggy

    This is what the world needs. Young intellectual individuals, unlike Sarah Palin.

    Congrats young man.

    January 9, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. joey

    to: Your teacher failed you

    No time for punctuation, spelling, or grammar when one is spewing anger and hatred as fast as it pops in one's head. Dems are bitter, angry people.

    January 9, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Kim J

    For all you Dems saying he has no experience. What is the difference between being on the PTA and being a community organizer?

    January 9, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. Matt in VA

    Dear "Is it Jan 20th yet?", I take it you are an Obama supporter. So how much time did Obama have in the private sector. He graduates from his free ride in college and becomes a community organizer, then state legislature , then senator (much of which he spent campaigning) and now president. He has basically been a career politician. Other than his local constituency, how much of America did he know before he started campaigning for president. Do I sense a double standard here? I think so.

    Dear "TURN TEXAS BLUE", other than the token from IL who was elected president, how many black Dems are there in the Senate? Oh my, how dare I say something like that; how offensive the libs must find it, someone playing the race card in a context that doesn't berate the Republicans. See how harmful it is to make a point and using race? Are you related to Bobby Rush?

    January 9, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. RH

    Your teacher failed you January 9th, 2009 12:02 pm ET

    Does anyone who comments on this site understand punctuation, spelling, or grammar? Just because you're typing on a website doesn't mean the rules of the English language no longer apply. It's not colloquial, it makes you sound dumb and cheapens your point of view.
    ______________________________________________________

    Amen!!!! I am deeply ashamed of all of you.

    January 9, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Karen - Missouri

    School board? The background is a little scary, I'd say. This isn't the 1800s. But then, Peoria is tiny (113,000) and a lot of surrounding farmland. Small town politics on this one. I wouldn't read too much into this.

    January 9, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Kieran

    Congrats! But remember the future of the Republican Party is the Constitution :-)

    January 9, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. vincent - phoenix

    GERDA??? is it???

    With a name like GERDA... i wouldn't be taking shots..... and apparently YOU aren't smart enough to read a book or newspaper sometime. It has been BOTH Chicago 'and' Illinois politics that have been taking shots. (see Governor RYAN (Republican).. current convict in Illinois prison).

    p.s. Chicago is located IN Illinois.

    i think your crickets are smart enough to know that , too.

    January 9, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Proud American

    Dear god I sure hope the republican Idiot thinks he's going to be president. He has to wait until he's fat, bald, stupid and become a hateful racist. Good luck

    January 9, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. Geoff

    Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce our next Larry Craig.

    January 9, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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