There are two versions of Aaron Schock: The hyper-driven Illinois GOP congressman/wunderkind repping District 18, and the limelight-loving Internet celebrity who sometimes appears shirtless on Instagram.
(Google his name and the first phrase that comes up is "aaron schock instagram" followed by "aaron schock for congress.")
Can he be both Mr. Schock Goes to Washington and Mr. Schockingly Tight Six-Pack? What if he wants to be taken seriously?
"I don’t fit the plastic mold of a crusty politician, both in terms of my age, my personality and my willingness to do things that have never been done before. And that is not something I am going to apologize for or back away from," the 33-year-old says in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet, when asked about his super-fit, abs-flaunting public persona.
Schock, who recently doffed his shirt to train with Navy cadets, posting the evidence to 8,600-plus Instagram followers, fully embraces—even courts—the attention, leveraging social media to his advantage as if to support the adage, "All press is good press."
He's running for re-election against Democrat Darrel Miller, and his odds of snagging a second term in the House are exceedingly favorable. He's here, there and everywhere, in Illinois and beyond, stumping—and raising campaign dollars—for Republican candidates ahead of Election Day Nov. 4.
"I'm trying to do everything I can to help the team," he tells Sweet, who asked about his next steps. "There may opportunities that present themselves after the election. Don’t know what they are. Don’t know whether I am going to pursue them because at the end of the day, you know, in life timing is everything, and I’m very happy with the position I’ve got right now."
Talk to him again in 2018.