(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.
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Fantastic Way to go Republicans. Face it, the democrats are out of touch-did any one listen to the Speaker of the House glowing about the stimulus bill yesterday. She was smiling so wild that it hurt my face. What a joke.
There's something kind of sad about a young republican. Losing one's soul so early in life.
January 9th, 2009 10:50 am ET
Good luck, young man.
I am diametrically opposed to the republican thought process, but I wish you good luck in your blossoming careeer.
funny…. this post has been up here almost 2 hours… I don't seem to see any poor taste shots at this kid from Illinois linking to dirty Blagojevich politics…… (crickets chirping)…
Anyway, kid… good luck.
Well, all I can say is wait til the democrats begin their work. You will beg for republicans
If he's looking out for Generation Y, I wonder who he voted for. I know that he's rep***i*an, but if he voted for Mc****, he's not looking out for Generation Y's future.
Congrats!!! Now continue to stand and fight, remember never to give in to the same old same old. Hopefully we can put many more younger bodies in Washington.
Best of luck to him. Perhaps the GOP (Government of OLD People) will lend an ear and actually listen to some of his ideas and bring Life back to the party. Maybe this young man can bring some common sense to the old farts who keep insisting on sticking with exclusionary tactics and help them realize that Religion has no place in politics.
GOP's Obama??? Maybe in 20 years!!!
@ your teacher failed you....Get over it...Free speech, and write it any way you like it. Can't spell....Do your best , We want to hear what you have to say.
Good luck, but if you are not able to bring some value back into this party. You will be viewed as the same ole same ole thing.
Both parties need to educate themselves to the future of this country, stop being so "me" and more "us"!!
It is a good thing for the younger (and older of us) to be politically savy – everyone has an "ideal" but sometimes we need opposite input to give us a more rounded view of what life is really like.
:) I don't care if he's a republican, I think it's magnificent that this young man made the great leap into national politics, he's 10x better than that Palin chick they tried throwing at us for VP (at least he can speak and answer on his own behalf without a teleprompter). It gives me hope for a two party system afterall.
Chicago teaches their politicians to be corrupt from a young age. One day this man will be president and straighten out Obama's mess.
I'm a democrat, but i'm happy to see some young blood heading up to the Hill. I hope that he's treated with respect, and i'm sure he'll make an impact for years to come. Congrats!
Well I got news for ya foke Sarah Palin is Not going any where shes the future of the gop. she is brite and pretty and just like us fokes. She is not treated fairly and you will all pay some day. She will be the next president just weight and see. you liberals ruined our economy and sarah will fix it for us.
Tying Aaron Schock to Sara Palin or Senator Creig? Calling the Republican Party old, white and boring? Old worn out beliefs?
It is the Democrats that try to present themselves as the kinder gentler party for the average people. What I find instead is a bunch of arrogant small-minded lummox that wants to bash anyone that has an original thought. To me Democrat = mean spirited.
It is refreshing to have young leaders who are conservative. Learn from the mistakes of both parties and when making a mistake you will confess it quickly cause this world will gobble you up! God Bless and Look to Him. Carl