It was a big summer in the political arena this year, with the Republican National Convention being held in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Rhodes junior Joey Bartholomew was in Philadelphia working for the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC), participating in the political process first-hand. Bartholomew learned he was one of 50 students nationwide chosen to intern with the DNCC on May 15, and reported to work June 1.
Prior to the actual convention week, Joey worked in the DNCC’s legal department, organizing and helping to arrange contracts with different entities. “In addition to what seemed like hundreds of contracts to go through,” Bartholomew says, “we would also need to contact and arrange details with media teams such as CNN, Snapchat, and others.” He served as a liaison between the DNCC’s legal team and the organizations covering the event. “I worked under DNC Chief Counsel Danielle Daughtry. We were the point of contact, and kept everything up to date as both our team and the other teams would make changes and revisions to the many agreements.”
Bartholomew was also tasked with creating briefs about the convention and Philadelphia for the delegates and their families. “Those nights, we would be working until 10, 11 at night, finding directions, reviews, and information about all of these events and sights in Philly.”
When the convention began on July 25, Bartholomew’s role changed completely. “At the convention, I was a vote recorder, and I was assigned the Virgin Islands delegation. They were all huge fans of NBA star Tim Duncan, who was born there. (Go Spurs!).” Every day, he helped the delegation set up, presented them with the itinerary for the day, and served as the local contact if any of their delegates needed anything. Finally, on Tuesday, when the official votes for the candidates were counted, Bartholomew and his co-workers talked to each delegate, found out whom they were voting for, and entered them into the record. Before and after the vote, he served in an assistant role, running errands and answering questions for the delegation. For all of the events, he had the opportunity to be on the actual convention floor. “It was amazing. The Vermont delegation was right next to the Virgin Islands, so I was only 10 feet from Bernie Sanders, which was an awesome experience.” After the convention, Joey helped archive all of the work done over the summer for future reference.
Bartholomew says Rhodes prepared him for the work and rigor of the convention. “The work I did with the legal team reminded me of my political science class Rights of the Accused with Prof. Anna Smith. It was a lot easier for me to comprehend the contracts I dealt with because of that class.” Before graduating, Bartholomew hopes to find another internship in politics, possibly at the White House. Looking forward, he plans to apply for law school.
By Sam Clark ‘17