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Where Are They Now?

An Insider's View Of The White House

Geoffrey Bailey

Geoffrey Bailey and Vice President Dick Cheney

The sun sets across America, and in the distance a speck appears on the horizon. A familiar hum breaks the silent dusk as Marine One gradually descends from the sky and lands on the south lawn of the White House. Moments later, the President of the United States of America emerges from the elite helicopter.

The scene is breathtaking for Collin graduate Geoffrey Bailey, and reality only sets in as he watches Barney, the president’s dog casually trot away from his recent ride on the rotary-wing aircraft and into the White House as if he owned the place.

Bailey was one of 100 recent interns at the White House, and he was one of only seven interns selected to work in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. Assigned to the vice president’s photographer, he has numerous tales of the wonders of life on Capitol Hill.

“I had the opportunity to walk through the White House gates Monday through Friday. The White House represents the U.S.A. and democracy and the ideals and standards and values that our nation holds as a whole. I assisted photographers at events and was standing 10 feet away from the leader of the free world,” said Bailey.

Currently a student at the University of California at Los Angeles, Bailey hopes to attend Georgetown University, George Washington University or Yale University to earn a master’s degree in national security. Ultimately, he plans to work for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or the State Department.

Bailey remembers, a few weeks after he started his internship, how the first lady’s photographer led him down the famous colonnade that connects the West Wing and the White House. His tour took him through the kitchen and behind the scenes. A glance of the presidential portraits foreshadowed his first sighting of the president.

“I was standing in the Red Room and the first lady walked in, and 30 seconds later the president walked in. It was surreal. You see him on television and you think, ‘I wonder what it would be like to stand in the same room with him,’ and then you are. It is something I definitely won’t forget,” said Bailey.

While serving in the White House, Bailey–a former Collin honor student–gave current honor students at Collin the opportunity to share his experience. Through an Internet forum called “From the White House,” Bailey conducted virtual discussions with students on topics ranging from domestic and foreign policy to the tsunami disaster.

According to Bailey, meeting the president and vice president has been one of the highlights of his life, and discovering the kind of people they are through their actions was the icing on the cake. The day Bailey’s intern class was photographed with the president and vice president, President Bush had a national press conference. Instead of rushing through the photos, the president told the interns he was going to do something a little different and spent 45 minutes answering questions.

“I thought that was amazing with the kind of schedule he keeps. It reinforced that the kind of guy you see on TV is the kind of guy you get in real life. There is no façade. He is a man of tremendous faith and family values, and he has a lot of integrity. He truly cares and wants to help people. On the international scene when he talks about liberty and how the 21st century will be the “Liberty Century,” he truly means that. He believes that people can only prosper when they are free to make decisions for themselves,” said Bailey

While his experience seems like a fantastic realized dream, Bailey says the internship only further solidified his future political career.

“I look forward to being a public servant or politician, one of those individuals that do it because they want to help people and better things around them. It is a blessing to be in that position and to be able to change things rather than just talking about them,” said Bailey.