It's official: Representative Aaron Schock of Illinois's 18th Congressional district has been anointed the hottest member of not just the House but also the Senate, eclipsing former Cosmo centerfold and current Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. You can tell because a photo of him in a bathing suit was posted on TMZ and then written up in the New York Times Style section. And his supremacy among freshman congressmen was confirmed by a vote on Huffington Post!
Just so you know, getting abs like that requires work, ya'all! Schock told the Times that he works out seven days a week.
Schock is 29, single, Republican and Christian. He hails from Peoria and returns home every weekend. (His district encompasses an irregular chunk of west-central Illinois that includes Peoria and extends, in parts, to the Mississippi River and as far south as the Springfield city limits. You know, just in case you want him to be your Congressman.)
Last month a photo of him at a White House picnic last month hit the Internet and turned him into a gay icon.
"Obviously, it was what I thought was a sporty outfit," Schock told the Times. "It was probably a little too bright, in retrospect."
Although he is straight (and took care to drop a mention of a former girlfriend to the Times) and opposed to gay marriage, Schock claims he's not above using his abs as part of his campaign platform: "If they're in my district, I'll take votes wherever I can get them. Who knew I could get this much attention with my shirt on?"
In addition to his physique, he is famous for traveling to Peoria with President Obama aboard Air Force One so the President could give a speech in support of his stimulus bill at the Caterpillar plant. The next day, back in Congress, Schock voted against the stimulus. His supporters say this is a sign of his integrity. (Three guesses what the opposition has to say about it.)
Irin Carmon at Jezebel offers this analysis of Schock's appeal:
Perhaps we have reached a new frontier in the open exercise of male vanity, a journey Schock shares with Senator Scott Brown and his pink leather shorts. Or perhaps the fact that the willing participation of Schock, a conservative, in his image-selling seems to have brought no career consequences is evidence of a double standard. (He serves on three congressional committees and was named the deputy whip.)
Or maybe it's just because when it comes to ogling politicians, it's really slim pickings.