Intern of the Week: Baldwin’s intern bunks on a boat

Aaron Erzinger, 24, is interning in the office of Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), but sleeps far from Rayburn. In fact, he has been commuting to the Hill from a boat.

A week before his internship started, he moved onto his friend’s sailboat, docked in a creek off the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis.

“There’s a family of ducks on the pier,” says Erzinger, a native of Stevens Point, Wis. “The fish are jumping. At night you can see the stars.”  

He says that living on the boat helps him keep the frenetic pace of D.C. in perspective. Commuting with the boat itself is out of the question, so he takes an hour-long shuttle.

Erzinger has just finished his sophomore year at the Naval Academy, where he has worked in a squadron that launches and recovers aircraft.

“The Navy has taken me all over,” he said. “You gain a lot of experience.”

Erzinger enlisted in the Navy straight out of high school and worked as an aviation structural mechanic. He has spent five years serving, including two at the Academy. But he now wants to study political science or business at the University of Wisconsin, where he plans to transfer in the fall.

“I want to get back involved in my community,” he said. He hopes to go into local politics, possibly working as an alderman in his hometown. Work in Baldwin’s office is piquing his interest in politics. He says she makes the staff members feel like they are members of her family.

Erzinger intends to keep his Navy athletic edge. Right now he is beginning to train for a triathlon.

“I want to eventually do the Ironman in Madison,” he said.