“I Was a Washington Intern”
Forget about gray-haired congressman, the Capitol is ruled by the young
It’s August, and the halls of the House office buildings in Washington D.C. have grown silent. The Capitol is no longer buzzing with its usual activity. The reason for this sudden change is not only due to the Congressional recess. It is because the summer interns have gone home.
I was an intern this summer in a Congressman’s office. (No, I am not telling you who it is. But he’s a great guy.) I know we all arrived bright and early that first day in May, when intern season begins, filled with high expectations. We were Congressional interns, and most of us felt like we were really big deals.
Within hours we received our red identification badge. The badge gives you accesses to the Capitol, House and Senate galleries, and allows you to move ahead of all non-badge visitors through security checkpoints. Pretty cool! But it doesn’t take long before you become aware that those red badges that you thought made you instantly important are actually known to more experienced staffers as the “scarlet letter” or the “badge of shame.” And we are not talking Monica here. It just meant how low you are on the totem poll. And, remember, Washington is all about rank and power.