August 7th, 2009 – by Emily Benner
Interning was a little more interesting this past week. I still sorted plenty of mail and answered lots of phones, but I also had more briefing opportunities. The first opportunity was the result of an error; I had lost my badge earlier in the week and on Monday went to ID Services to get a temporary one, since I was going to attend a briefing in the Capitol building that required an ID to get in. I found out later that they don’t issue interns temporary IDs, but the guy at the desk forgot to check and issued me a staff ID. Armed with this greater source of power, I returned to the office where our Legislative Director sent me to (what I found out afterwards was) a last minute Chiefs of Staff/LD only briefing in the House Majority Leader’s office.
It was boring briefing (probably why I was sent) on appropriations procedure for freshman Democratic congressmen’s offices, but I still felt privileged to be there. I just stayed real quiet, took good notes, and minded my own business so no one would confront me and it worked.
I also went to two other briefings, one on “Quality of Life and Palliative Care” and the other on “Challenges of Venture Capital Investment and Economic Development in Rural Communities.” They were slightly more interesting than the first.
There were three other events of note this week. The first concerned Rahm Emanuel calling our office out of the blue for Congressman Perriello, who happened to be out of the office. We were all somewhat flustered and star-struck that he would call our humble office personally. The second interesting thing was Congressman Perriello appearing on TV during an MSNBC interview Monday morning. He did well, and we all laughed at how the Republican pundit sitting to his right seemed to be “fawning,” in the words of an intra-office email, over the Congressman.
The last event of note happened when I went to the soup kitchen for lunch yesterday; I randomly ran into the very first BVSer at the soup kitchen from when it started in the late 1970s, who also coincidently went to college with my father and an uncle.