As the Republican National Convention progresses, most observers hear from politicians and what trouble the protestors are getting into. But there are few glimpses of people behind the creation of the RNC. A lot of hard work and dedication has gone into making the convention a success, and that didn't just happen by itself.
I spoke with Lauren Higgins, an intern for the Romney Campaign and a University of Tampa student, and asked her a few questions about her life as an intern during the RNC.
Q: How has it been working on the campaign for Mitt Romney, especially with all of the chaos of the RNC?
A: It has been really hectic, but that's how political campaigns are, even without the RNC being held here in Tampa. It is a huge advantage to have the RNC here because of all the opportunities to get involved--whether it's with the internship or just as a volunteer and resident of Tampa.
Q: What are your responsibilities as an intern?
A: As an intern, I have had to recruit other interns, as well as volunteers throughout Tampa and surrounding areas. I am responsible for making calls to voters in Florida to get a good understanding of people's views on the election and politics in general. I'm also responsible for creating precinct walk books and going on precinct walks (door-knocking) to add a personal touch to the campaign, hoping to gain as much support as possible and to give people some information about our candidate. I do a bit of everything for the campaign it seems.
Q: What are the perks of being an intern?
A: I'd say the best thing about being an intern is the connections that I am making. I have got to meet a lot of different people involved in politics. I enjoy the experience that is preparing me for a job in politics after college. Having connections will assist me in getting a job when I graduate, so as a junior, I am happy to be making these connections now.
Q: What are some of the experiences you've had as an intern for the campaign?
A: I have got to meet politicians, such as Congressman Connie Mack, which was awesome. He came into our office to say thank you for all of our hard work with the campaign, which was really cool especially because it was great to be appreciated. I have met a lot of local politicians who have been involved with the Romney campaign as well as their own. Then the other day I got to go on Mitt Romney's tour bus as a reward to our office for hitting a weekly high goal of over 6,500 doors knocked. Tomorrow I will be staffing the Ann Romney and Janna Ryan fundraiser so that should be fun.
Q: What do you like (or not like) so far about working on the campaign during the RNC?
A: I like how it has given me more opportunities that most interns on a political campaign wouldn't necessarily get to experience. It is so rewarding knowing that I am a part of history. The only thing I'd say I dislike about working the campaign during the RNC is that it is crazy busy in downtown Tampa and at times it can be overwhelming.
Q: How has this changed your life?
A: It has definitely given me a stronger desire to pursue a career in politics. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do with my major being advertising and public relations, but from working on the campaign, I plan to declare a concentration in government and world affairs and see where that takes me. Also, with working on the campaign, I feel as though I know more about what is going on in the world and I feel more connected. Many kids my age don't really have a clue about important issues and events in not only politics, but in the news. This internship has given be a better understanding about many different topics and issues.
Q: Would you consider working on for Romney or on another campaign again?
A: I would most definitely work on campaigns in the future, whether it is for Romney or local politicians. It's a great experience and I have had a lot of fun so far doing what I do. There is so much that goes into a campaign, so it is interesting to learn the odds and ends of what it takes to make the campaign a success.
Higgins has been working for the Romney Campaign since the beginning of July at the Clearwater Victory Office and will be working on the campaign throughout the entire presidential election.