This week I went to the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. Hillary Clinton was testifying… The hearing room was completely full of interns and it was a pretty big room. And I also went to the Senate Commerce Committee confirmation hearing for John Bryson, Secretary of Commerce nominee.
I heard Representative Dan Lungren (R-CA) speak. He talked about his previous jobs he had as Attorney General of California and about his time in Congress during the 1980s. He was the AG who helped legislate the “3 Strikes and You’re Out” law, which drastically reduced crime and saved around 2,000 lives (who would have been murder victims).
I went to a Washington Nationals baseball game. And I got to sit in a Suite box. And it was very sweet! There was tons of free food and the view was great! The Nats were down by four in the bottom of the ninth, but scored a run and then a guy hit a homer so they won because there were several runners on base. It was a really exciting game to be at!
We had a White House tour this week. The tour itself took around 20 minutes, if that. And it was self – guided. So there really wasn’t much to see but pictures and then some different rooms. And there were little explanations of things here and there.
I got a picture with Senator Rand Paul. While we were waiting for him we had to move out of the Capitol road area because Vice – President Biden was about to arrive… There were so many police officers and black SUVs!
It’s so hard to believe that five weeks went by so fast! I think I had a pretty good last day. We went to the House gallery and saw Members vote on one of the Libya resolutions. I don’t think Representative Aaron Shock voted (he is the youngest Rep. and posed on the cover of Men’s Health). But Representative Michelle Bachmann did vote! I didn’t see her face, but I saw the back of her. So that was cool that I was in the same room as her! She is awesome and before I leave I want to go by her office and take a picture in front of it!
I’ve had such a great experience with my internship in Representative Whitfield’s office. And I gained valuable insight into how the House works. I know this internship has helped me put my degree – in – progress to work!
Ann Coulter was in D.C. today. I was so excited to be able to hear her speak! She is so sharp and witty! I was cheesing when she was up there talking and then she signed her book that I bought. She asked me, “Where are you from with that accent?” And I told her Kentucky and she said her mom’s from Paducah. I told her I knew where that was and she asked where I was from so I told her. And then I told her what I was doing up here this summer. (So now I have a personal connection with Ann Coulter) Oh and I got to shake her hand! She actually talked to every single person that was in line to get his or her book signed. She’s just great! And of course I got several pictures of her.
I thought about not going, but I’m so glad I did. It was such a great experience and who knows if I’ll ever get the chance to hear her speak in public again. I cannot wait to read her books!
I have a friend up here who managed to get two free tickets to the U.S. Open for Saturday. I had never been to a PGA event before, so this was a good first! Phil Mickelson walked past us and we got to see him play a few holes. And we were able to see Rory McIlory play a few holes as well!
This week I got to go to the Taco Bell congressional reception. So I got a few tacos and nachos for free! I also got free White Castle this week because White Castle was celebrating its 90th birthday. And what better way to celebrate than feeding people on the Hill?! There were so many people at both of these events. Speaker of the House John Boehner actually spoke at the White Castle reception, but we missed him. Oh well, free food is always nice!
I went to an Energy and Power subcommittee hearing about enriching the uranium tails in Paducah. That was a neat hearing to be at because Senator McConnell testified. And since the issue actually had to do with Kentucky it was a lot more interesting than others I’ve been to in the past.
I was also able to attend Representative King’s hearing on Islam Radicalization in U.S. prisons. Now that is the best thing I’ve been to all summer! It was a fairly heated debate, which always makes hearings more interesting. I think I’m going to write a Homeland Security paper over these hearings and it was great that I was actually able to attend one and get a better understanding of the issues. (I got some good notes!)
Donald Rumsfeld spoke as a part of the Intern Lecture Series. I didn’t realize that he served under President Gerald Ford (I think that’s who it was if he came after Nixon…). He is a very sharp man. He has a lot of experience dealing with all kinds of things. I didn’t know that he served as a Congressman at the age of thirty. That’s pretty young! He said the best advice he could give us was to have a job that we loved and did well. He said once he started doing what he loved, he was always asked to fill other positions. I guess doing what you love and what you do best pays off!
Rumsfeld actually went to Princeton with Ralph Nader and they graduated from the same class. That’s funny how they both turned out to be influential and important people. I think it’ll be good to stay in touch with the people I meet this summer because they will probably be future Members of Congress, along with other important jobs you can have in D.C.
I’d just like to start out this post by asking the question: What would it be like to be interning for Representative Anthony Weiner?? I would be afraid to answer the phone or check the mail! I walked by his office earlier in the week and there were two cameramen sitting outside and his office doors were shut. The only way this could have gotten any more interesting would be if he had actually been here in DC and not back in New York for recess! I’m sure there will be tons of media around next week though because he’ll be back, but I’m not sure for how long…
Anyways, that’s probably the most exciting thing from the entire week, although I have gotten free lunch the past few days. There’s always something going on up on the Hill. And if you want people to come hear you talk you had better feed them! For example, I got some free Chick-fil-A! That was really good. Only waffle fries could have made it any better!
We went to the Supreme Court this morning and heard the Justices hand down opinions. It was pretty interesting and a good experience to see it in person. It only lasted for about 20 minutes. I don’t think they really like to be in the courtroom for very long. It was kind of intense before they all came in and I was nervous. But I don’t know why because it’s not like I had to get up and argue anything in front of them. Can you imagine how nerve-wrecking that would be?!
Because it was a slow week we were able to do a lot of things outside the office, like going to Senate committee hearings and programs that were a part of the Intern Lecture Series. It’s been great to have the opportunity to go to these hearings, briefings, and lectures and learn about a lot of different things.
Today I went on a run with some of my friends.. We ran all the way to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, which took about 30 minutes. I had never seen it before so we stopped.
It was really cool. A quote of his was along the frieze. It said:
“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
I think it’s intersting how much “God” is in our Nation’s history. Jefferson was a deist, but he still believed there was a supreme God and incorporated that into his thinking and reasoning…
I had my Capitol Tour training this week and that was pretty fun! There was so much information they gave us for tours. I didn’t really take notes. There are just so many interesting facts to tell constituents that I don’t know what I’m going to say!
This week we had a few constituents in D.C. and I helped with their Capitol Tour. I didn’t really say much because the other staff member was in charge of the tour. I feel like I know my way around the Capitol now though!
I went to a committee hearing on Healthcare. It was supposed to start at 4:00, but we didn’t get started until 4:45… And by then it was almost to go. The interesting thing about committee hearings is how the witnesses have completely different views. Their “expert testimonies” are polar opposites. One person sees something as very beneficial, while another sees that same thing as dangerous and no good for our country. If they’re both experts in their field, which one is right?
The Capitol is such an awesome place to be. Sometimes I forget that our Founding Fathers were real people and it’s surreal to me to be walking through the same hallways they used! It’s such a great experience! I think everyone should live in D.C. at least for a summer and have an internship or job, just so they can experience everything our nation’s Capitol has to offer!
I went to the Memorial Day Concert on the Capitol lawn. I heard B.B. King perform and he was really good! They had actors from Criminal Minds, which is one of my favorite shows. It was cool to hear them perform a monologue of a U.S. soldier or one of their family members, but sad at the same time.
I got to shake President Obama’s hand! That was a good experience. He was at Arlington National Cemetery last Monday and I heard him speak too. I also saw Michelle because she was with him. I got a few pictures of the two of them, which will make for a good souvenir!
I laid a red rose on the grave of a solider named Robert Lee Johnson. Arlington is so big. It is really hard to comprehend how many soldiers died for our freedoms. It’s mind-boggling to think that each of us is only given one life here on earth and those brave men and women chose to serve and die for our country. I wonder what those who sacrificed their lives would think of the current state of our country?
I’m glad I was able to be in DC for Memorial Day and I wish I were going to be here on the Fourth of July as well!