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D.C. Interns are Hot... and Everyone Wants a Piece of Them
Falls Church News-Press ^ | August 10 - 16, 2006 | Mike Hume

Posted on 08/11/2006 5:52:55 AM PDT by PDR

Roughly 20,000 of them flock to the District every summer, their dress has sparked the creation of new terms and 10 years ago, one of their number nearly brought down a presidency. Now, however, D.C. interns, particularly female interns, may be reaching even grander heights in pop culture popularity.

While the days of this summer’s Capitol Hill intern crop continue to wane, popular political blog Wonkette has just wrapped up its “Hill Intern Hotties” contest. Meanwhile, a Washington Times article recently dubbed members of D.C.’s female intern contingent “skinterns” for their scanty work wear. Then there’s MTV, the Grand Poobah of pop culture, which plans to pursue a pilot based on the intriguing lives of D.C.’s interns.

Nationally, there appears to be a burgeoning desire to explore the lives of those directly serving the elite echelons of society. “The Devil Wears Prada” and follow-up “The Nanny Diaries,” have reaped immense literary success across the map. Now, the intrigue of D.C. interns seems to be another like iteration.

While MTV spokesman Graham James would not go into the details of the pilot, the intern scene is undoubtedly appealing to producers for its plentiful nightlife and access to celebrity. Oftentimes summer nights can contain four or more receptions in addition to a thriving happy hour circuit. There is also the presence of politicians, turned into pseudo stars from their constant appearances on 24-hour news channels like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

Then, of course, there is the attraction that has always been a staple of MTV reality shows from “The Real World” to “ Laguna Beach” — beautiful people.

The annual intern descent on D.C. marks an influx of young and attractive bodies to the District’s social mix, and as the new blood in town, the interns garner more than a healthy share of attention. One Capitol Hill veteran, who asked not to be identified for purposes of professional integrity, sited a joke among his office that “Intern Hunting Season” is declared open with the Taco Bell Reception in May and closes with the end of the August softball season.

“It’s all one giant frat party,” said Angelle Smith, a former staffer and intern under former Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin. “When the interns come they infuse it with new life. These college kids come to town and they just want to drink and have a good time.”

Smith, along with the other current Hill staffers interviewed for this article believe the young age of most congressional offices contributes directly to that climate. They also noted that due to the low salaries, young people are often the only ones willing to work in such positions.

Smith also observed that interns frequently come from wealthy families and often don outfits outside of most staffers’ price ranges.

“We had one intern who called herself Barbie,” Smith recalled. “She was tall and blonde and beautiful and would come in wearing these designer suits and just flaunt it.”

Instances such as that have been and remain common in the District. As a July 5 Washington Times article pointed out, not only are there a lot of young bodies entering the District, with an estimated 20,000 interns coming to D.C. each summer, but there is quite a bit of those bodies on display. The Times article noted an emerging trend of scanty dress around the workplace, citing a large number of girls wearing tank tops, mini-skirts, low-cut spandex tops and flip-flops to the workplace. For flaunting this informal uniform, such ladies have garnered the nickname “skinterns.”

Opinions vary as to why these interns, mostly girls, sport such wardrobes. While some of their co-workers believe they are just new to the ways of the workplace (“This is probably their first year not at summer camp or Outward Bound,” one Hill staffer said.), others believe that “skinterns” are not oblivious to the buzz they are creating.

In a work environment as dominated by the alpha male as D.C. is, such outfits can act like blood in the water.

“Interns can be very susceptible. They’re gullible and innocent,” said Patrick Gavin, editor of Fishbowl D.C., a District-centric gossip blog. “[Interns] are hoping to make connections while they are here that will benefit them when they graduate.” On the flip side, “They provide other people an opportunity to boost their ego. Lowly staffers can actually look down on them and wax poetic about Capitol Hill minutiae to impress a nubile 18-year-old.”

Gavin noted that while the infatuation with young women is hardly new, recent pop cultural events in the media, such as Britney Spears’ donning of a Catholic school uniform, have made such coveting commonplace, if not altogether socially acceptable.

“There were no social consequences whatsoever for counting down to the Olsen twins’ 18th birthday,” Gavin said. “And when Britney Spears put on that school uniform, it put 16-year-olds up for grabs to a lot of dirty old men.”

Regardless of an intern’s looks or age, there is also the fact that the role of intern itself has become sexualized. Ever since former President Bill Clinton’s affair with then-intern Monica Lewinsky made headlines and led to his impeachment, the position has never been viewed the same way.

“When I found out that I got the White House internship, I told all my friends about it at a party that night. Instead of congratulating me, they all laughed and called me ‘Monica’ the whole night,” said a former female intern of the Bush White House who withheld her name. “Getting a White House internship used to be this really prestigious honor, but this one random chick turned it into a really bad joke. What really bothered me was knowing that the guys who got the internship were getting patted on the back and congratulated — they did not have to deal with any of the jokes that I had to as a female.”

Prior to Clinton’s affair, the White House used to hand out t-shirts that read “White House Intern” to those in the program. That practice stopped abruptly thereafter and the incident became a taboo subject within the White House walls, even after Clinton’s departure from office.

The sex and politics crossover received another injection of juice with the 2005 revelation of the so-called “Washingtonienne.” Jessica Cutler, a former intern and, at the time, an aide in Sen. Mike DeWine’s office, graphically chronicled her sexual exploits with dozens of government staffers and D.C. socialites and exposed the nation to a scene that blended private sex lives and public offices.

For her online revelations, Cutler was fired from her post in Senator DeWine’s office. However she is currently a published author, posed for Playboy, was named one of Jane Magazine’s “30 Under 30,” and sold her book rights to HBO for a project to be co-produced by “Sex and the City’s” Sarah Jessica Parker.

While most subjects interviewed for this article believe that female interns are dressing down out of workplace inexperience rather than a desire to enhance their sex appeal, and that any unbecoming after hours conduct is similarly a product of their youthful zeal and naïveté, Cutler’s example provides another intriguing possibility — particularly with a potential MTV spotlight set to shine on the District. Given the enhanced media attention focused on the District and the degree of celebrity awarded to modern day politicians, there seems to be a potential for interns or other young workers to become a celebrity themselves by playing up their sexuality as Cutler did. Though there are no guarantees.

Take the example set by former Hill worker and current New Yorker Julia Allison. As Allison’s career deals directly with sexuality, given her dating column for AM New York, she is perfectly aware of its benefits.

“In 95 out of 100 cases, sex appeal is beneficial — as long as you know how to use it smartly,” said Allison, whose byline has also appeared in Cosmopolitan, COED, Seventeen and Teen Vogue among other publications.

Along those lines, her website (www.juliaallison.com) includes an array of tantalizing photos, including a series showing Allison in a slinky, low-cut nightgown and another where she reads the “Kama Sutra” in a plaid skirt. While those pics may cause possible publishers to give her a second look, she believes that her own bit of Beltway intrigue, dating Rep. Harold Ford (D – Tenn.) during her time studying at Georgetown University, hasn’t boosted her career in the slightest.

“Other than a fabulous weekend ski vacation and a few fancy dinners, all Harold gave me was the certainty that dating an egotistical wannabe-hotshot is overrated,” she said. “Perhaps if I had gone public with more information, it might have had more of an impact, but as it was, I downplayed my involvement with Harold as much as I could.” Now, Allison jests on her site, her literary agent won’t return her calls.

Seemingly, capitalizing on Page Six fodder is no sure thing. Lewinsky couldn’t even capitalize on her presidential scandal. Her career as a TV host flopped along with Fox’s 2003 reality show “Mr. Personality” and she folded a post-internship handbag business in 2004. Nevertheless, the opportunities were there.

Then come the moral questions of playing up the physical beauty and sexuality of these young workers. In the past, beauty has been a useful tool on the Hill. An Aug. 2 New York Times article on the exclusivity of the Capitol’s Senators-Only elevators recounted the practice of lobbyists hovering around those elevators with attractive young women, hoping to better their chances of a ride-along invitation. The article says such baiting took place in an era “when senators held a less enlightened view of women,” but one report from Capitol Hill suggests that looks still matter, at least to some congressional offices.

A seven-year veteran of the Hill has told the News-Press that several congressional offices on both sides of the aisle request the submission of photographs along with intern and entry-level application materials.

“The people that fill these positions are the first faces that you meet from an office,” said the veteran, who requested anonymity due to his office’s press policy. “I don’t think it’s particularly discriminatory, as people have an inclination to see fresh, youthful faces representing an office.”

A second, since-departed congressional staffer confirmed the story, saying that her office was one that requested photos from interns.

“The pictures do help you remember who is who and no one was ever turned down because of their photo,” she said. “But they got passed around the office and everyone got excited if they were hot. It was a fun pastime.”

The practice of requesting photos has drawn the ire of at least one women’s organization based in the District.

“That’s outrageous,” said Clare Giesen, Executive Director of the National Women’s Political Caucus. “What does someone’s appearance have to do with the way they perform their job? What type of qualitative judgment is a good face? Who decides that? A good face is someone who is polite, courteous, works hard for her congressman and loves her country. That’s a good face.”

While to date there has been no great outcry of protest regarding revealing dress and the observed emphasis on looks in the District, Giesen is preaching a word of caution.

“[Dressing inappropriately and accenting sexuality] is undermining one’s own sense of being viewed professionally,” she says.

Beverly Davis, President of the National Federation of Republican Women agrees. “If you want to be a professional, dress like a professional. Dress for the job you ultimately want to get. It’s hard to take someone seriously who doesn’t dress professionally.”

Echoing that sentiment more strongly are women who have recently vacated the positions currently occupied by many of these young women.

“They need to realize that their actions do not end with themselves. They really are creating this larger culture that harms everyone,” the previously quoted former White House intern said. “It feels like the rest of us [women] have to lean way in the other direction just to make sure people take us seriously.”

That the current capital culture seems to encourage interns to flaunt their beauty leads Fishbowl D.C.’s Gavin to believe workers should utilize all assets at their disposal, including physical ones.

“If a female reporter can get an interview with a congressman by batting her eyes a little, why shouldn’t she?” Gavin says. “She hasn’t compromised her integrity. She’s just using what God gave her.”

Two male Hill employees stated that they didn’t believe the emphasis on physicality was completely detrimental or out of control, but as they detailed examples of intern-related behavior both in and out of the workplace, they separately noted how chauvinistic such incidents sounded when they repeated them aloud.

Those interviewed believe that the summer intern culture, steeped in sexuality as it is, will not change anytime soon. In the meantime, voyeurs in all forms of media will assuredly continue to soak in the melodrama and skimpy dress, whether its sexy effects are intended or not.

Of course, lost in all of this is another possibility. Perhaps these scantily clad interns are actually a step ahead of the thinking for another, non-sexual reason.

“I wish I could take more of my clothes off,” Gavin said during the early August heat wave. “It’s so hot out there.”


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: clinton; dc; interns
So it's come to this then.... I weep for America.
1 posted on 08/11/2006 5:52:56 AM PDT by PDR
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To: PDR
So it's come to this then...

Yes, interns will be ranked by the highest level of elected representative they had sex with, with bonus points for risk of being caught, doing it in the office, doing it while he's on the phone with his wife, double points if he's on the phone with the President, and quadruple points for seducing a member of the same sex who is not openly gay.

2 posted on 08/11/2006 5:55:55 AM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: PDR

Democrats like Clinton and Codit only like the fat Jewish girls.


3 posted on 08/11/2006 5:56:14 AM PDT by nonliberal (Graduate: Curtis E. LeMay School of International Relations)
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To: PDR
one of their number nearly brought down a presidency

yeah the poor rapist was seduced

Doogle

4 posted on 08/11/2006 5:56:38 AM PDT by Doogle (USAF...8th TFW...Ubon Thailand...408thMMS..."69"...Night Line Delivery...AMMO!!)
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To: nonliberal

That's just not helpful, not helpful at all.


5 posted on 08/11/2006 5:56:51 AM PDT by PDR
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To: PDR

What?? No Pictures??


6 posted on 08/11/2006 5:57:58 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Republicam)
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To: PDR
Any more wonder why terrorists--stuck in the 9th Century in their mind, attack us, for what they perceive as hopeless decay? (not justifying it here by any means, but extrapolating what goes on subjectively in Islamic Fascist minds).

7 posted on 08/11/2006 5:58:24 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (A few clever bones tossed on gay unions, flag burning & Iraq still don't absolve GWB over BORDERS)
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To: PDR

I'll wait for the "Washington Interns Gone Wild" video in the fall.


8 posted on 08/11/2006 5:58:39 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Cincinatus
Okay, but remember, you asked for it:

The Most Famous DC Intern of All Time

9 posted on 08/11/2006 6:00:08 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: PDR

In other words our nations capital is a whorehouse? Hell, we already knew that.


10 posted on 08/11/2006 6:00:38 AM PDT by Americanexpat (A strong democracy through citizen oversight.)
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To: Cincinatus
Didn't quuite live up to my imagination.


11 posted on 08/11/2006 6:04:03 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
Whatever it was that I posted, I cannot believe that I asked for that.....

Anyway, that's a former intern, not a current one (I hear she got promoted.....endlessly).

12 posted on 08/11/2006 6:04:42 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Republicam)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
Like everything else that comes from DC, there is usally some pork provision attached.


13 posted on 08/11/2006 6:05:11 AM PDT by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: PDR

I'm not sure what makes this news, exactly.


14 posted on 08/11/2006 6:06:26 AM PDT by ko_kyi
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To: nonliberal
Democrats like Clinton and Codit only like the fat Jewish girls.

Chandra thinned down on the Condit diet.

15 posted on 08/11/2006 6:07:28 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (Crazier than a rattlesnake at a Thai wedding)
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To: Cincinatus
Hill Intern Hotties Winners
16 posted on 08/11/2006 6:08:37 AM PDT by Teflonic
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To: Tijeras_Slim

LOL. Dude, that is just mean.


17 posted on 08/11/2006 6:08:48 AM PDT by nonliberal (Graduate: Curtis E. LeMay School of International Relations)
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To: Teflonic

This one gets the "Somebody's Future Psycho Girlfriend" award for sure.

18 posted on 08/11/2006 6:13:56 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: PDR
I had to look it up:

Link


19 posted on 08/11/2006 6:16:09 AM PDT by balk (Vive le Canada libre... des Libereaux)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost

She looks like a young Susan Estrich in a Kate Hudson wig.


20 posted on 08/11/2006 6:16:47 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: PDR

Dear God in heaven; with all that's going on in the world we're having to give attention to this?

We've got a war in Iraq that could possibly cost us the House in the mid-term elections, a pending Armageddon in Israel and Lebannon, terrorists trying to blow 10 planes out of the air at once, the madmen of North Korea and Iran with nuclear weapons AND SOMEONE IS ACTUALLY CONCERNED WITH HOT WASHINGTON INTERNS AND OLD, "LIMP" CONGRESSMEN ON VIAGRA?

I'm sorry; maybe I'm missing something here.


21 posted on 08/11/2006 6:20:01 AM PDT by no dems (www.4condi.com)
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To: PDR

One of the many reasons, Bill Clinton was worthy of impeachment. The classless and vengeful leftists just want to impeach George Bush for running the country, and making truly difficult decisions. Their hopes are laughable if it weren't for the possibility they might come true based on election results. Such vengeful, hateful, spiteful divisionists, I hope never to be associated with or have running my life.


22 posted on 08/11/2006 6:21:22 AM PDT by wita (truthspeaks@freerepublic.com)
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To: PBRSTREETGANG
The most frightening photo of all time:

Men everywhere are turtling.

23 posted on 08/11/2006 6:22:01 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: PDR

It's no wonder they can't seem to get any work done down there.


24 posted on 08/11/2006 6:24:59 AM PDT by Realism (Some believe that the facts-of-life are open to debate.....)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost

"turtling."

LMFAO


25 posted on 08/11/2006 6:25:53 AM PDT by CygnusXI (Where's that dang Meteor already?)
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To: Teflonic
No offense to the young ladies, but they range from low to high average in the pulchritude department. Decidedly warm not hot. That's not to say anything against whatever their overall loveliness as persons may be.

I wonder if they are all democrats?

26 posted on 08/11/2006 6:26:30 AM PDT by rmgatto
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To: no dems

Just having some fun. Lighten up, Francis.


27 posted on 08/11/2006 6:26:55 AM PDT by Ace of Spades (Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: Hemingway's Ghost

29 posted on 08/11/2006 6:33:01 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: PBRSTREETGANG
Let's not leave out the Fuglies:


30 posted on 08/11/2006 6:34:17 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: PDR
“What does someone’s appearance have to do with the way they perform their job?"

Everyone knows that if you're a white male you can't do the job.

31 posted on 08/11/2006 6:38:30 AM PDT by HIDEK6
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To: PDR
I guess that if you want to grow up to be a political whore, you have to start literally. Goodness.

No wonder nothing ever gets done in DC.

32 posted on 08/11/2006 6:45:09 AM PDT by Malacoda (The Posting Police need an enema.)
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To: Ace of Spades

any o' you guys touch my thread, i'll kill ya'


33 posted on 08/11/2006 6:52:32 AM PDT by PDR
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To: PDR

I don't know if she was an intern but there was a beautiful girl sitting behind John Cornyn in one of the Senate committee meetings last week.


34 posted on 08/11/2006 7:10:17 AM PDT by cdga5for4
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To: PDR
Smith also observed that interns frequently come from wealthy families and often don outfits outside of most staffers’ price ranges.

Internships in DC, especially in the thinktanks, are generally unpaid. DC shouldn't be attracting all these climbers in the first place, but like that bank robber of old, they go there because that's where the money is.

35 posted on 08/11/2006 7:24:06 AM PDT by Dumb_Ox (http://kevinjjones.blogspot.com)
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To: Dumb_Ox

I graduated from college in 1980, and a dozen graduates from said college (counting just the ones I knew) ended up as interns on the hill.

Some sincere, some clymers, and I'm sure more than a couple of them were doing the horizontal mambo with a congresscritter.

This is neither a partisan or clinton induced issue. Has ever been thus, and likely will not change.


36 posted on 08/11/2006 7:39:34 AM PDT by dmz
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To: PDR

Overheard in a Washington Starbucks, "You lied to me! You told me you were a Congressman, you bastard, that makes it RAPE!"


37 posted on 08/11/2006 7:43:51 AM PDT by Kenton
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To: Ace of Spades

Francis????


38 posted on 08/11/2006 8:04:22 AM PDT by no dems (www.4condi.com)
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To: PDR
As a former bartender in Capitol Hill, I'll give you the rub:
1. The Republican women are more attractive than the Democratic ones (on average).
2. 90% of the Republican women are RINOs or moderate at the very least.
3. Very few are very religious.

Thus I have concluded that RINOs will own our future. Even the men are more RINO than I'd expect from people who love politics enough to work free for a summer in Congress.

39 posted on 08/11/2006 9:42:04 AM PDT by youthgonewild
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