Jimmy Loomis III has not let any grass grow under his feet this summer, but then he never does. The 17-year-old from worked from the well of the United States Senate as an official page. For Loomis, it was a life-altering experience.
After all, Loomis has political aspirations and the world is simply his oyster. Almost from birth, he decided he wanted to be a politician. “I want to make a difference in people’s lives,” he stated matter-of-fact.
In 2006, he made a presentation before the Ladue City Council, urging members to adopt a recycling program for the community.
That same year, he first began leafing through all the paperwork to become a U.S. Senate Page and by the time he was eligible (those 17 and over and going into their senior year) he got in.
Loomis talks with enormous pride how the pages get to unpack the white gavel that has been used through the ages to call the Senate into session. In 1952, Richard Nixon, then a a young Senator from California, was so angry he slammed the gavel and it cracked.
Loomis is really old school. He likes to write letters by pen on personal stationery. He rues computers and social networking. “You never know what you’ll put sometime on Facebook you will regret later.”
He’d rather create his own original work on a typewriter than a word processor.
Pages have the opportunity serve in any of four seasons, those being Spring, first summer session; second summer session and Fall.
He arrived in Washington D.C. for his most excellent adventure on June 9.
Pages work out of the Senate cloak room. Others might call it a work station/lounge for politicians.
He rubbed elbows with the likes of Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, and of course Missouri’s Claire McCaskill-D, who he describes as his mentor.
What were they like? “Rand Paul is a really quick-paced guy.”
“I can tell you that both Rand Paul and Barbara Boxer, D-California were the only two senators who walked to work everyday.”
Loomis was on the scene looking out the Capitol windows when the Supreme Court announced its decision on the landmark Affordable Care Act. He rushed to pass the word to the presiding officer.
Senate pages set up the members’ desks each morning, distribute copies of the previous days Congressional Record and curry messages back and forth from the chamber. They help organize Senate luncheons.
Loomis didn’t let the history of the moment pass him by. “Did you know Chris Dodd (D-Conn) was once a Senate Page? So too was Daniel Webster,” he beamed with great pride. He could recall those thundering footsteps.
Loomis, who maintains a 3.59 GPA at Ladue, takes a boat load of Advanced Placement courses and disappears every afternoon for Chinese classes at Washington University. He will eventually study government and political science at Wash U. starting in a year. Then it will be off to law school.
This summer he is a volunteer fund raiser and staffer for both the campaigns of Lacy Clay and Claire McCaskill. That takes up most of the working week.
His parents, Dr. James Loomis II (practice in internal medicine at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield) and his mom Susan, who is involved in real estate belong to in Creve Coeur.
“You know, I hope to become the first Jewish president,” he said, not batting an eye.
You know, that just might happen some day.