Newly sworn-in Indiana Republican Sen. Todd Young, 45, talks about Hoosier representation in the White House, his three daughters and one son, and his soccer career.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Hoosiers — Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Director of National Intelligence-designee Dan Coats — being in Donald Trump’s administration.
A: I’m really excited about it. There’s a lot of pride back home about the fact that the next vice president will be from Indiana and now the next director of national intelligence. I also think it affords an opportunity for us to be able to work more directly with those individuals. This town is built on personal relationships and personal trust, and we’re going to hit the ground running with respect to issues of the intelligence community and working with the White House.
Q: When did you start your soccer career?
A: I think I was six when I first began playing soccer and it immediately became an outlet for me to meet other kids and get exercise and, more importantly, whet my competitive juices. It became my passion growing up and as a teenager, I aspired to become a professional soccer player some day.
I ultimately made it on the Indiana state team — the Olympic development team — and was selected for a game to decide who was going to be on the Midwestern Olympic development team. But I sort of flamed out and never got to top-tier. But I did play at the Naval Academy for a couple of years.
It was a source of incredible joy as a young kid so I’m trying to persuade at least one of my four children to play so I can live vicariously through them. Looks like my six-year-old may follow in my footsteps.
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Q: When you’re home, what do you like to do with your four kids?
A: We like to shoot hoops. We just moved into another home in Bloomington, Indiana, and we’ve got a basketball hoop outside. I like to watch movies with them. I just took them to see the latest “Star Wars” movie. Ride bikes with them. Just whatever they want to do, I’m game for it.
Q: Tell me about the pictures they draw for you.
A: In my House office, we had this back area where I stored things, and I had a gallery of my kids’ pictures. The pictures sort of got better over the years and I taped them to the walls. I could tell that that was very special to them, knowing that I thought of them on a regular basis. They draw tons of pictures for me and they want me, of course, to display all of them and I don’t think there’s enough wall space in our offices.
My son’s become quite the artist. He’s 6 and has a twin sister who’s 6 — she’s talented, too, in case she’s reading this — but my son aspires to be an art teacher when he gets older.
He’s got three sisters and during the swearing-in, Joe Biden was complimenting my daughters, saying, “You all look so beautiful in your dresses” and that my son better watch out when boys start coming. He was putting everyone at ease. I don’t think he understands exactly what the vice president was talking about.
Q: What’s something about Indiana people might not know?
A: We have an outstanding state park system. We have some beautiful national treasures. Another thing they might not appreciate is just what a strong sports economy we have and what big fans Hoosiers are of their sports teams, especially their high school teams.