Activism, Lifestyle

How I Became a Member of the White House Press & landed an Internship: in under 48 Hours

For the first time, being signed up for about a million political listserves actually came in handy. Not long before last Tuesday, I got an email announcing that President Obama was coming to Philadelphia on the 13th to speak on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

When people found out that I had secured a White House Press Pass, the questions came flying in: How and Why? The actual answer, I needed a win.

The last couple weeks have been rough to say the least. After my Chicago summer, I thought I was way more mentally prepared to go back to normal college life. The opening weekends of the semester were packed with parties, football games, and day longs. I was overly confident and looking for any excuse to hide the fact that I was insanely sad about leaving behind my dream summer. However, after one weekend of partying, I was at an all time low. I realized that the only thing too much partying does is make you unaware when something’s not right. Soon enough, my minuscule problems had blown into much bigger one’s that could have easily been squashed had I just put down the Jager and kept my mouth shut.

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     (Even my cat was concerned for me)


By the end of my hectic weekend, I had convinced myself that I was head over heels for a guy I had been casually talking to. To put it simply, I made a complete fool of myself. And I’m all for making a fool of yourself when necessary. After all, we need more people in this world who are willing to run through airports to stop somebody from getting on a plane. In which case, fool away. This type of foolishness however, was damaging. Because I was well aware that I had exaggerated my feelings in order to avoid admitting the truth: I was desperately seeking attention.

By the end of the week, I had sunk to a new low, receiving quite honestly the worst rejection I’ve ever gotten from a member of the male population. It was a serious slap in the face for theAmeliaBurns. But, as pissed as I was in the moment, I’m grateful he did it. It was a wake up call that led me to the President of the United States.

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So back to the original point, I needed a win- and this time I wasn’t about to get rejected.

I spent my Monday afternoon emailing and calling anyone I could think of to get me a pass to this event. I contacted the Hillary Clinton Campaign, Obama Administration, National Democratic Party, The White House Press Association and the Pennsylvania Democrats. To be quite honest, all I did was ask. I was polite, eager, and slightly pestering. I am in no way qualified, or deserving, of a pass to see the president. However, part of getting what you want out of life is asking for it and making the case that you’re somehow entitled to that request.

By Monday night, I had the private press application at my fingertips and a bunch of new contacts to pester for my next political conquest. I felt empowered by my own ability in that “I don’t need no man” type of way. Little did I know, my name was now flying around the political world of Pennsylvania.


When I attended the event on Tuesday, I expected to do a lot of waiting and I was prepared. “This is one of the best days of my life” I told Secret Service as they patted me down. About an hour later, the opening speakers for the President began coming out, one of which was my former boss Katie McGinty. And watching someone that you used to work for, open for the president is a pretty empowering experience.

By the time the last speaker was finished, a stream of police cars escorting the President’s limo began racing by. The crowd went wild and chills ran down my spine.  When the president walked out onto the stage, the crowd exploded. He walked to every corner waving and shaking hands with the crowd. His sleeves were rolled up and he had huge grin on his face. The man was quite honestly, a rock star.


As the President of the United States spoke to my city, I not only felt a pride for Philly, but also honored to have grown up in a family that has supported such an intelligent and genuine leader. At 20 years old, I was watching my president speak live, something that most people don’t get to experience in their entire lives. Not only was this happening, but I was watching the first African American president speak, listening as he talked about the possibility of electing the first female president. I felt like I was being molded into a part of history. By the time he had finished speaking, I had tears running down my face.

I left the event feeling inspired to pursue my major even stronger, and relieved that I was finally ready to jump back into the political world that I had left behind. Two days after the event, I received a call that I should come into the nearby Clinton Campaign office to discuss an opportunity. I ventured into the office the next day after a jog to casually see what was up. After talking with a woman for about 20 minutes, I suddenly realized I was in the middle of an interview for a job I hadn’t even applied for. Learning that the universe has a funny way of giving you things when you aren’t looking for it.


To sum it up, people had been talking about me. I have no idea why someone was moved to mention my name, but I know that everything happens for a reason. And when Hillary Clinton’s team calls you into their office to offer you an opportunity, you definitely don’t turn it down.

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So this past week was a lesson for me. A lesson that there are more important things in life that you should be spending your energy on than frat boys and beer cans. But more importantly, I figured out that just because something in your life changes, doesn’t mean that you need to. For two weeks, I became a girl that I didn’t want to be. But now I’ve learned my lesson and how to recognize when I’m forgetting it.

So I’m back to living a sporadic life, and more importantly back to being theAmeliaBurns that’s too busy living to worry about whether or not I have your attention. Besides, we both know I’ve always had your attention.


Till Next time,


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