Archive for Wednesday, February 6, 2008

One-day assignment turned out to be a dream job

February 6, 2008

It was the middle of the night and Andrew Cameron was in the car headed to the airport to pick up a late arrival.

The sophomore at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., has been close to the center of a political hotbed since the Iowa caucuses grew nearer and now he was about to be closer then he ever imagined.

Upon arriving at the airport, Cameron drove onto the tarmac and watched as the plane landed and the hatch was opened. Eventually, the head of Republican presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani appeared and Cameron readied to welcome the man he would chauffer for the day.

For the 2006 LHS graduate, the gig almost seemed unbelievable, and Cameron, 19, said he was grateful for the opportunity to get up close and personal with such an influential individual.

"I wasn't going to pass up an experience like this," Cameron said, adding that he would have been happy to drive around any of the presidential candidates, whether Republican or Democrat.

Cameron got the job because his roommate was an intern with the Giuliani campaign at the time. Since the start of the presidential race and Iowa caucuses, which were on Jan. 3, Cameron has had several opportunities to hear people such as Giuliani and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speak in person.

But the job of chauffeur was unlike anything else.

Cameron started the day by picking up Giuliani from his hotel and taking him to an event at a restaurant that overlooked the Missouri River. Cameron stayed by the door in case a quick exit was needed but was able to listen to the speech Giuliani gave to the upscale donors.

From there, Cameron and Giuliani crossed over to the Council Bluffs, Iowa, to an event at a small Village Inn restaurant. Cameron said it was almost like night and day going from the two events.

"It was just really cool seeing how the entire election process works from the local party supporters to the higher-up donors," he said.

The Village Inn was packed with locals hoping to shake hands with a presidential hopeful. Outside 20-30 abortion protesters yelled and held signs.

Cameron said the protesters yelling around him as he stood with the car wasn't scary, but in fact, extremely interesting to see America's freedom of speech at work.

"It was great to see the amendment you hear about in school in action," he said.

While Cameron isn't sure whom he is supporting come Election Day, he said he's just enjoying the opportunity to gain knowledge and see how politics works outside of college and Lansing.

The energy that surrounds a political campaign is a lot of fun, Cameron said. He never thought he would have the chance the meet the people he has and said he felt special to be given that chance.

Giuliani has since dropped out of the presidential race and thrown his support to Republican candidate John McCain.

Cameron also recently had lunch with Steve Forbes, the editor-in-chief of the business magazine Forbes and the Giuliani campaign's former financial adviser. During lunch, Cameron said Forbes talked about Giuliani's economic plan, but the lunch wasn't all numbers and mathematics as he asked questions about Cameron's interests.

"I kind of like being around all these politics," Cameron said. "You get to meet a lot of interesting people, for sure."

For now, Cameron said he'd keep tabs on how the primary season goes before making a final decision about whom to support.


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