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Interns, You Could Be in Congress One Day, Too

Kamala Harris and new House members Bacon, Gottheimer have been here before

Sen.-elect Kamala Harris, D-California, shown here surrounded by reporters after the Senate Democratic Caucus leadership elections on Nov. 16, remembers the advice that her old boss, former Sen. Alan Cranston, passed along. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Sen.-elect Kamala Harris, D-California, shown here surrounded by reporters after the Senate Democratic Caucus leadership elections on Nov. 16, remembers the advice that her old boss, former Sen. Alan Cranston, passed along. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

California Democratic Sen.-elect Kamala Harris is set to hold the very same seat her former boss held when she was an intern on the Hill.

There are a good amount of interns-turned-lawmakers already in Congress. Add Harris and newly elected Reps. Don Bacon and Josh Gottheimer to the list.

Harris was an intern in the mail room of former California Sen. Alan Cranston when she was in school at Howard University in the mid-1980s.

“Make as many friends as you can on the way up. You’ll need them on the way down,” Harris recalled in an interview with Modern Luxury a year ago the advice Cranton gave his interns, and that stuck with her.

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Cranston retired in 1992 and Sen. Barbara Boxer replaced him during the year considered, “The Year of the Woman.” 

Cranston died in 2000 and when Boxer announced her retirement in January 2015, Harris began her successful campaign to replace her.

Returning to the Capitol last week for Senate orientation, Harris said, “I got lost a couple of times and I had some very bright eyed 20-year-old interns who were happy to show me the way. And in moments like this, one cannot suffer from pride,” Harris told the Sacramento Bee.

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Bacon, R-Nebraska, was an intern in 1984, working for the late Illinois Republican Rep. Edward R. Madigan after he graduated from college.

On the other side of the aisle, Gottheimer, D-New Jersey, worked as an intern for former House Speaker Thomas S. Foley of Washington in the early 1990s.

[New Kids on the Block]

He later worked in the White House as a speechwriter for then-president Bill Clinton.

Harris, Bacon and Gottheimer are currently looking for interns to fill their own Capitol Hill offices.

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