young elected leaders

At the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, I spent the

day with a large group of young elected officials: city councilors

and state legislators from all over the USA who are under the age of 35.

(A few young U.S. Representatives were due to appear after I left.) The

morning session was essentially a set of focus groups, one of which I

was fortunate to be able to observe. I was especially struck by the degree

of guilt that these young people feel. They are torn among family, paying

jobs, civic obligations such as nonprofit boards, constituent service,

and legislative work. "Guilt" was a word that they used frequently

and passionately.