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And teenagers shall lead them And teenagers shall lead them

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And teenagers shall lead them

March 21, 2012
For this series, we promised we'd introduce you to people working toward solutions for America's biggest problems. Today, we deliver the first of those stories: solutions for our dysfunctional political system, brought to you by a group of standout, idealistic teenagers, and expertly told by National Journal's Sarah Mimms.

Here's a taste of the story

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., teeters on glittery, gold four-inch heels, the skirt of her dress swishing as she trails a fellow Republican who is furiously scribbling a Medicare overhaul plan on a yellow legal pad. Other "senators" bounce balloons back and forth through the aisleways; one Republican sits in the back of the chamber, studying an iPad to figure out how to tie his tie.

The chamber, such as it is, is a ballroom at the Boston Sheraton hotel. The senators are type-A teenagers tasked with assuming the personas of real Capitol Hill lawmakers, including their policy views, personal opinions, and constituent demands. The role-play does not, however, extend to wardrobe. The tall brunette playing Thune wears a black dress with a large cutout in the back. But she feels it's in character. She looks up, eyes hooded in perfectly stenciled eyeliner, and explains: "Well, he's a good looking guy."

John Thune in a dress isn't nearly as surprising as the end result of Harvard University's Model Congress, where 1,400 high school students colonize an icy Boston conference center and somehow, in very non-congressional fashion, manage to get something done for the American people.


Read the rest here. Then come back and tell us: What can, or can't, Congress learn from these students?
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