Last week, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) bared his sculpted upper body for Men’s Health and showed all of Capitol Hill exactly what he thinks about Americans’ right to own guns. Schock doesn’t just “work out” like the rest of us; the guy is a machine, hitting the gym sometimes seven days a week for grueling […]
Last week, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) bared his sculpted upper body for Men’s Health and showed all of Capitol Hill exactly what he thinks about Americans’ right to own guns.
Schock doesn’t just “work out” like the rest of us; the guy is a machine, hitting the gym sometimes seven days a week for grueling routines that allow him to maintain a body politic like no other.
From the article: “Schock, an irrepressible optimist, believes that success in politics looks exactly like success in the gym: have a goal, a strategy, and be disciplined in making it happen.”
Amen. I couldn’t agree more. The older I get, the more I realize the only person looking out for me is me. Schock wants a killer physique, so he works at it. A lot.
The Illinois native took a big risk baring his chest and will no doubt garner many sneers and jeers from colleagues on the Hill for the glossy spread. Yet, the photo shoot is about the only daring thing he’s done while in office. The almost 30-year-old is in lockstep with his party on nearly every pivotal piece of legislation.
Those of us who are career-oriented know we have to balance a commitment to ourselves with a devotion to compromise in the workplace. And that is where, time and again, the chiseled and toned Schock fails to max out.
Take a look at Schock’s recent voting record. On many of our most divisive issues — health care reform, federal funding of abortion, extensions of Patriot Act provisions — he’s voted alongside fellow Republicans. He even refused to respond to Political Courage Test in 2010 and was given a lofty score of 0 percent for his noted absence.
Sadly, he’s become part of Washington’s highly-charged partisan atmosphere that sees donkeys and elephants retreat to the fringes where everyone agrees with each other and no one challenges opinions.
Think about our own experiences at work. At certain times, we have to compromise or risk losing respect as well as bargaining power. No one gets everything they want all the time. That’s pre-school 101. The same rules apply at a small business, non-profit, corporate behemoth and on Capitol Hill.
As the youngest member of Congress and the first born in the 1980s, Schock is our guy, even if we don’t live in his home district of Peoria, Ill. He is Gen-Y and stands before every gray-haired patriarch representing us. Yet, his voting record only reflects him and, likely, his constituency back home, so he can be re-elected every two years.
Schock: “Too much thinking in Washington focuses on immediate crises at the expense of long-term strategic objectives. That is the biggest overriding failure of American government in the past 20 years.”
Again, I couldn’t agree more. Long-term solutions require the ability to hear from a broad array of people, balance pros and cons and come to a sensible and well-intentioned decision. As a leader of our generation — one taught that finding common ground is the only way to move past the never-ending arguments of our parents and grandparents — Schock needs to employ the delicate art of negotiation.
Perhaps Schock’s profile in Men’s Health will encourage more dudes to hit the weights and slim down. But leadership is far more than P90X and Muscle Milk. The ability to find a middle ground — not just carve out washboard abs — defines a leader.
As Schock exits the gym each morning and heads for his congressional office, that is precisely where he should focus his sweat equity.
Danny Rubin works as a consultant for the media research firm Frank Magid Associates. He works mostly with television and newspaper clients, helping to either boost ratings or subscriptions. Prior to working at Magid, he was a television reporter at WTKR, the CBS affiliate in Norfolk, Va. In addition to consulting, Danny provides freelance video production services in the Washington, D.C. area.