U interns voted among the ‘hottest’ on Capitol Hill

By By Jenny Willden

By Jenny Willden

This summer, politics aren’t the only hot topics on Capitol Hill.

Two current U students and one former U student were recently voted among the top eight “hottest interns” working in Washington D.C. on Wonkette.com, a political Web log. The site allows users to nominate Capitol Hill interns and vote.

The students nominated were Robert Stephenson, 24, and Micah Wayne Elggren, 26-both interns to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT-and Tyson Smith, intern to Rep. Jim Matheson, D-UT.

The nominations upset some of the interns.

“It was really just embarrassing. Both Robert and I e-mailed the site when we found out about the whole thing and asked to be removed,” Elggren said. “The site manager refused to take us off because, apparently, it would ruin the polling. Being on that list was extremely incidental, and, quite frankly, unwelcome, to my experience as a law clerk.”

Despite wanting to be removed, the voting continued with Smith receiving 18.8% (647 votes), Stephenson 6.3% (216 votes) and Elggren 6.2% (215 votes).

In addition to having their photographs placed on the Web site, anonymous testimonials were added about each nominee. Some of these testimonials include: “The perfect teeth, the slim yet toned physique, and that undeniable Utah charm all help to make Tyson the perfect candidate. There’s a reason why Rep. Matheson’s office is giving four times as many tours as any other Utah office.”

On Stephenson’s page a testimonial read, “Really good-looking-we’re talking movie-star handsome.”

A testimonial about Elggren read, “Micah is a smoldering law clerk at Senator Orrin G. Hatch’s office. His hotness continually sets off the fire alarm.”

Elggren had no idea where the information came from and said he believes the testimonial was “more for comic relief than a description of who I am.”

Although these interns are now known for their fine features, they do much more than just look good on Capitol Hill. Stephenson works on tax and finance issues and Elggren is currently a law clerk learning about policy-making.

Elggren and Stephenson originally obtained their internships through the Hinckley Institute of Politics here at the U, which allows students from all majors to work as interns in Washington, D.C.

Smith was unavailable for comment.

While Elggren’s current position is not affiliated with the Hinckley Institute, he said that his previous internship was an important part of his education.

“My experiences with the Hinckley Institute and Senator Hatch’s office were pivotal moments in my undergraduate studies,” he said.

Stephenson agrees that his internship has enhanced his education and said any interested students should look into the opportunities at the Hinckley Institute. So far, he says he has learned a lot from his experiences as an intern.

“Working on the Hill has given me a unique perspective on the political process that will be valuable to me when I return to complete my political science degree this coming year,” Stephenson said.

Elggren said the other people working in Sen. Hatch’s office helped him understand the process of policy-making.

“The work was demanding at times, but I felt like part of a team, and nothing feels better than that,” Elggren said.