The North Wind online

The Student Newspaper of Northern Michigan University -

A Week in Political Heaven
Experiences from the DNC
Carson Lemahieu
Issue date: 9/4/08 Section: News

Editor's note: This is the first in a two-part series chronicling the experiences of NMU students attending the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Next week's paper will feature the second part of the series.

Jason Morgan never dreamed he would attend the Democratic National Convention, much less stand next to Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as a roll call vote was conducted for an historic presidential nomination.

The sophomore political science major attended the DNC as an alternate delegate for Hillary Clinton; he was one of the youngest delegates at the entire convention.

In addition to Morgan, four other students attended the convention - three of them as media interns.

Anke Hildebrandt, Lauren Mattioli and Katie Cox served as media interns at the DNC with NBC News, Bloomberg News and TIME Magazine, respectively. This week Neil Passinault, Keith Voorheis, and Darren Widder will serve as interns with NBC News, TIME Magazine and Bloomberg News for the Republican Convention. In addition to the media interns, senior political science major Danielle Stein also went to the convention.


Hildebrandt went to the convention as an intern for NBC News. Unlike the other interns who went to Denver, she had to be at the convention a week before it started. She said when she got to Denver she learned she would be working as an aide for the live broadcast of Meet the Press on Sunday, Aug. 24.

She was assigned the duty of assisting Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in getting ready for her interview on Meet the Press.

Hildebrandt had nothing but positive things to say about Pelosi.

"She's so busy. That woman is amazing for the amount of things she can handle at one time," Hildebrandt said. "She came in on a conference call and was rushing around, yet she was still ready to go right on time for Meet the Press."

Hildebrandt said the most rewarding part of her internship was meeting the NBC staff and getting to see first-hand the work that goes into a broadcast.

"I met a lot of people with NBC," she said. "Getting that little bit of an inside to see how all these shows are run, and the intense amount of work that goes into getting a live broadcast like that out to the world was the biggest highlight."

One thing Hildebrandt said surprised her was the number of media people involved with coverage of an event like the Democratic Convention.

"The amount of media that was at the convention was mind boggling. We were told that 50,000 people came into Denver for the event and 15,000 of them were media," she said. "I walked out of the Pepsi Center the first day, and there were no parking lots left because they were all covered in huge media tents."