David Plouffe, Campaign Manager for Obama

In our everyday lives, sometimes seminal events can pass us by, and receive little or no conscious attention. But every so often, things happen that are so out of this world that they make us stop, reflect, and recognize how lucky we are to be a part of something only a handful of people get to experience. Needless to say, these types of occurrences happen much more frequently to the OLIP interns… Read the last few blog entries, you’ll see it. Whether its meeting some of the most influential people in politics and the media, or being present during the introduction of the HST and the theatrics that followed (history in the making), there is no shortage of individuals who tell us regularly how lucky we are to be a part of this. Thankfully, all of the interns know exactly how lucky we truly are.

The reason I opened this week’s entry with this acknowledgement of our fortunate set of circumstances, is because last week the interns were able to go to a breakfast reception hosted by the Economic Club of Canada. A great friend to the program, the Economic Club of Canada gives us the opportunity to attend events with some of the most “in-demand” guest speakers. Last week that speaker was David Plouffe, campaign manager to Barrack Obama. On the same day that Barack Obama was receiving his Noble Peace Prize; the interns sat and listened to the man who helped him achieve the office he holds today. A talented public speaker in his own right, Mr. Plouffe addressed some of the most controversial topics of the American Presidential campaign. To watch as someone spoke so knowledgeably about campaign strategy, and had first hand input into getting the 44th president elected, was something special. Sitting there, the moment was not lost on us, as to how lucky we truly were to hear such an important figure talk about how and why Barack Obama was able to win the presidency.  The interns also got to meet Mr. Plouffe after he was done speaking, as he personally autographed our copies of his book “The Audacity to Win.”

Heading home that night, I told my friends, I told my family. I expected a more subdued response, in part because this had been the reaction upon previous announcements of my OLIP excursions. However, the response this time was one of shock and excitement. I wondered why… who was I kidding, I knew why. It was at that moment that I realized what sets OLIP interns apart, what makes our program so special. On any given day we are feeling that very same excitement, not only because we get to interact with the leaders of Ontario, but because we work in an institution which exemplifies the term public service. We get the opportunity to do what so few others do, and to come to know Queen’s Park inside and out. What outside observers sometimes don’t realize is that Queen’s Park is a special place. The OLIP interns know this to be true. Luckily, we have not stopped taking the time to properly reflect and pay conscious attention to the experiences and the opportunities we have been given.

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