Up close and personal with the presidents of the freshman class

The freshman class president organizes the caucus, holds meetings and determines who presides during special-order hours, said a spokeswoman for Rep. Paul Hodes (N.H.), who served as Democratic president for the past six months. The leader also communicates with leadership and chats with the members of the class. Hodes and incoming class prez Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), formerly vice president of the class, agreed to serve for six-month terms. The next election for Democrats will be held before the next legislative year. Rep. Bill Sali (Idaho) is the president of the GOP frosh.

Rep Tim WalzRep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.)

How tall are you?
Six feet.

How much do you weigh?
235 [pounds], and my wife is madder than hell about it. She has my staff under strict orders to buy fruits, pretzels and carrots. Before I started the campaign, I could run two miles in less than 12 minutes. I think 12:02.

What’s your claim to fame?
I’m the highest-ranking enlisted soldier in any branch [of military] to ever serve in Congress.

What’s your rank?
Command sergeant major.

What is your exercise routine?
The last three weeks have been terrible … [I try to do] 30 minutes on the bike and lifecycle every other day.

What cologne do you use?
I don’t use any.

Who designs your favorite brand of shoes?
I have a pair of Borns. My wife won’t let me wear them.

How do you like your steak cooked?

How much can you bench?
In the summer of 2004, when I got back from [Operation Enduring Freedom, it was] 315. Now I’m down to 220. I’d better get down there and prove it.

What is your favorite sports team?
I’m a Twins fan. But I’m much more partial to college football. I’m a [University of Minnesota Golden] Gophers fan, but my heart still lies with [the University of] Nebraska. [Walz is originally from Nebraska.]

Have you ever used body paint?
No, I haven’t.

If you weren’t in Congress, what would you be doing?

I’d still be teaching. I looked forward to going every day.

What did you teach?
Eleventh- and 12th-grade geography.

What do you drive?
I drive a Dodge Minivan. It’s an E-85. It’s all corn out there.

What’s your dream car?
1973 Camaro. I’m kind of a muscle car guy.

Do you think power is sexy?
I don’t think so. I never considered myself to be in a position of power.

Who’s your pick for 2008?
I haven’t picked. I’m a firm believer in the process. I’m not big on endorsements. It’s up to the constituents to decide.

Do you believe in astrology?
No, I don’t.

Rep. Bill SaliRep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho)

How tall are you?
Almost tall enough to reach 5-foot-8.

How much do you weigh?
I don’t know right now. I think 190 pounds.

What’s your claim to fame?
I’m the best granddad in the world.

How many grandchildren do you have?

How old is the oldest and young is the youngest?
Eight [and] about a year.

What cologne do you use?
My wife buys it for me. It might be Avon, but I don’t know.

What does it smell like?
It smells a lot better than me.

What’s your workout routine?
Sometimes [I lift] light weights.

What are your favorite shoes? Who designed them?
Just about any pair of tennis shoes. [I have a pair of] Starters.

How do you like your steak?

How much can you bench?
Ahh, depends on how much I’ve been working out. About 100 pounds.

What’s your favorite sports team?
Come on, the Boise State Broncos. You could’ve guessed that.

Have you ever used body paint?
No. I’ve thought about it, but I haven’t.

If you weren’t a member of Congress, what would you be?
A drummer in a rock band. I’ve actually done that before.

What was the name of the band?
[There were] too many of them. I stopped because I ran for Congress. I couldn’t do both.

What’s your dream car?
Oh, a 2008 Shelby GT 500 KR Mustang. Red with a white top.

What car do you drive now?
A Chevy Impala. I drive a grandpa car now.

Do you think power is sexy?

Why not?
It’s just not sexy. There are plenty of other things that are sexy.

Have you chosen anyone for 2008?
No. I don’t think I’m going to run for president.

Do you follow astrology?
I am an Aquarius, but I don’t follow it.