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Rep. Jose Serrano, Raising the Median Age on Facebook

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) is really into Facebook. We're talking about a guy who turns 65 later this month, and he doesn't even call it "The" Facebook, like - ahem - a certain other senior citizen at the very highest echelon of government who famously referred to "The" Google.

"I just passed 1,200 friends!" Serrano excitedly told the Sleuth Wednesday.

Rep. Jose Serano's page on Facebook.

Most every member of Congress has an official Facebook fan page, marked by the same official photo of a waving American flag. But Serrano actually has his own personal Facebook page, which he operates himself without the help of staff. He constantly updates his page, adds new photos he takes himself and shares his thoughts on everything from the delicious avocado he ate the other day to his beloved, beleaguered Yankees to his hope that Obama wins the presidency.

One day recently he posted an album of photos of flowers that he took with his new digital camera from Costo. He titled the album "Flowers for Friends." "The response was incredible," Serrano says. "They were saying, 'You made my day.' When was the last time a politician was told 'you made my day'?"

The Bronx congressman's one-line update about the avocado he bought in a Dominican neighborhood in New York actually stirred quite a ruckus. "I had the Bolivians telling me their's are better. The Colombians and the Dominicans got into a debate over aguacates, started by me!" he chuckled.

"I made the decision that it wouldn't be a political page...Mostly, just be me," Serrano tells us. Though occasionally he posts updates on what his political life entails. As of last night, his Facebook update read: "Jose E. Serrano is getting ready for a series of pro Obama radio interviews, every morning, starting tomorrow until election day."

Serrano says most of his 1,200 friends are not politicos. "Most I don't know; the vast majority are not from my district; lots are from Puerto Rico," the Puerto Rican-born politician says. And he gets a kick out of hearing from them.

One day Serrano wrote that he was "getting ready to preside over the House." He says one of his Facebook friends wrote back, "So does that mean Nancy Pelosi is no longer the speaker?"

And he loves seeming hip to the real MySpace and Facebook generation. "A lot of the younger people say, 'This guy is a real guy.'"

By Mary Ann Akers  |  October 15, 2008; 7:15 PM ET
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