Washington, D.C. Feature


D.C.'s Party Animals: Interns

General Description

Migratory species, aged 16 to 25, present in the region in great abundance in summer.

Identifying Marks

Eager expression, drained complexion suggesting a hangover. Can be confused with law students, but interns are almost always spotted in groups of four or more, do not carry books, and wear badges marked intern—a dead giveaway. The male is nearly uniform in khakis, blazer, and tie. Female shows greater variety of plumage, but look for sundresses in spring and summer and pearls year-round. They also look about 10 years younger than everyone else.


A fairly regular daily diet of Starbucks in the morning, Chinese takeout at lunch, and pizza, burritos, and the like in the evening is enriched by many pitchers of draft beer, often consumed in groups.


During the day interns flock with other political species to the Capitol and White House, and are most easily spotted inside these buildings, Republican and Democratic subspecies sometimes intermingling. After hours, they congregate both at bars like Capital Lounge (mostly Republicans) and the Stetson's (mostly Democrats), and also farther afield, at The Tombs in Georgetown. On weekends, look for interns at Open City in Woodley Park, gathering in great numbers to feed on pancakes.


When among their own, Washington interns are known for late-night parties and beer pong. In the presence of other political species (staffers, legislators), behavior is markedly more subdued. Interns are nearly always single while in Washington, and their mating rituals are particularly showy; coupling up between Republican and Democratic subspecies is not unusual, and occasionally interns have been known to pair temporarily with legislators and others.

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