- America’s most prominent politicians all got there start somewhere, from the military to local politics.
- We rounded up pictures of some of American lawmakers from their college years or early on in their careers.
- Vice President Mike Pence played acoustic guitar in college, and Sen. Mitt Romney married Ann Lois Davies while he was still a student at Brigham Young University.
America’s most prominent lawmakers might seem like they’ve been around forever. But they all got their start in politics somewhere – whether it be their state capitol buildings, their college dorms, or the Air National Guard.
Though some of today’s most popular politicians have just recently started their national careers (and may even be too young to run for the White House), others have been fixtures in Washington for years and years.
Take a look back at what some of America’s most prominent lawmakers, politicians and government figures looked like at the early stages of their careers, plus pictures of how they look now.
California Senator Kamala Harris as a young college graduate in 1986.
- Kamala Harris on Twitter
Harris is now considering a 2020 run for the White House.
Mike Pence loved to play guitar during his college years.
- CNN Screenshot
It is unclear whether Vice President Pence still plays guitar.
- Sara D. Davis/Getty Images
Former El Paso Councilman Beto O’Rourke poses in front of his hometown.
14 years later, O’Rourke is reportedly considering a presidential run.
Here is Barack Obama as a law student and newly-elected president of the Harvard Law Review.
- Photo by Steve Liss/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
Post-presidency, Obama still lives in Washington, D.C., and is dedicating his time to his foundation.
33-year-old Donald Trump holds a model of the Fifth Avenue tower that became Trump Tower.
- Getty Images
Years later, President Trump is still known for his construction projects, notably his promise to build a border wall.
Elizabeth Warren became a mother of two shortly before receiving her law degree.
- Elizabeth Warren on Facebook
Warren has now declared her intention to run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
- Jonathan Bachman/Reuters
Then-judge Mitch McConnell announces his candidacy for Senate in 1984.
McConnell is now one of the top Republicans in Congress.
In 2017, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was working as a bartender in New York, a year before winning her congressional seat.
- Jeff Stein on Twitter
Two years later, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman in Congress.
- Win McNamee/Getty Images
A young Joe Biden is pictured in the 1965 University of Delaware yearbook.
After two terms as vice president, Biden is now reportedly considering another presidential run.
- Scott Olson/Getty Images
Mitt Romney married Ann Lois Davies two years before graduating from BYU.
Romney is now a Utah senator.
- Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Before becoming a member of the Newark City Council, Cory Booker was a football player at Stanford.
Booker is also among the potential 2020 Democratic contenders.
- Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a Cornell senior in 1953.
- Supreme Court Collection
Bader Ginsburg is still serving as a Supreme Court Justice.
George W. Bush served in the Air National Guard before becoming president.
Bush now lives in Texas and spends some of his free time painting.
- Facebook/George W. Bush
Ted Cruz during his Harvard Law School days in 1992.
- Ted Cruz campaign
Cruz is now in the Senate —and sporting a beard.
- Zack Gibson/Getty
Hillary and Bill Clinton during Bill’s 1982 gubernatorial campaign.
Hillary and Bill 34 years later, during Hillary’s presidential campaign.
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Lindsey Graham twenty years ago in 1998, three years into his House of Representatives tenure.
- Karin Cooper/GETTY
Lindsey Graham is still serving in Congress.
- Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images
Chuck Schumer waits for the bus while he still was a member of the New York State Assembly in 1979.
- Photo by Arty Pomerantz/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images
Chuck Schumer is now one of the leading Democrats in Congress.
Nancy Pelosi during her first run for Congress in 1987.
Pelosi went on to become the first female speaker of the House.
And finally, here’s a young Bernie Sanders after being sworn in as mayor of Burlington, Vermont.