Meet the Lawmaker


Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)
Time in Congress: 5 years
Residence: Highland Park, Ill. 
Significant Other: Wife Kimberly
Age: 46
 

What is the last book you read?
Kirk: The real story of HMS Bounty. … It’s about mutiny on the Bounty, and it’s an interesting book because it has a very different cast on the role of Captain Bligh.

What is your hobby?
Kirk:Politics [laughter], to be quite honest. For me, life gets pretty well aligned when your love is your work and your work is your love.

What is your favorite political movie?
Kirk:God, there are so many good ones. I guess my favorite political movie from the early days is “The Manchurian Candidate,” the original.

What is your craziest constituent request?
Kirk: To remove the helicopters, which were sending laser beams into one of my constituents’ heads. The helicopters were following her, and they were sending messages to her. … [Laughter.] Luckily we have a helicopter-removal person on staff.

Do you believe in UFOs?
Kirk: No, no, no, no. And I’m a big sci-fi geek, but I’m not there.

What is your proudest moment?
Kirk: The proudest day for me was when we were doing Operation Allied Force, the war over Kosovo, and my squadron had done 700 combat missions. I had started flying. The jets and the equipment had all started falling apart, and we were wondering how much longer the war was going to go on.

Before the war I had been in the refugee camps where 2 million Kosovars had been pushed out of their own country. I had been in other refugee camps, but these were people who had literally stitched together their winter coats. Nobody was helping these people.

With the victory I knew 2 million people would be able to go back to their homes, and I knew that our squadron had played a big role.

What is your saddest moment?
Kirk: Oh, I’ll be honest — the saddest moment was when my parents divorced, and that was when I was 17.

What is your favorite and least favorite household chore?
Kirk: I am a car guy. I take care of all the cars. The household chore that I hate is my wife sometimes wants me to brush the dog Sophie.

Sophie is a little uncivilized Tasmanian devil and hates being brushed with a passion. When you brush her you have to look into these big brown eyes, which are telling you, “I do not like this,” and I try to explain that as her primary caregiver I have to do this. She just breaks your heart because she is uncivilized and wants to stay that way.