Mary Bruce

Age: 30
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Political party: None
Relationship status: Engaged

Try as she might to spend a little time away from her hometown, the nation's capital, Mary Bruce just couldn't stay away for long.

"I think I didn't realize how much I loved politics until I left D.C. I don't think growing up here you take advantage of the fact that it's just everywhere," said the Washington University grad.

"When I left D.C., I realized [that politics isn't] what everyone talks about all the time, that it's not at the forefront of everyone's mind. I missed it a lot ... I think it took getting out of the Beltway to realize that I liked this crazy, strange place."

So the Spanish and history major landed a job as a desk assistant at ABC News's Washington bureau, working her way up the journalism career ladder to a gig covering President Obama as a White House digital journalist for the network. It's certainly not your typical nine-to-five job, but Bruce says she gets a rush from the frantic pace of the White House unit.

"I love to travel. If it could be campaign all the time, I would be happy. I love seeing the political process up front and center," said Bruce.

Her hectic schedule can make her latest personal task a little tough: she's getting married in September. But she and her Alaska-born fiancé managed to schedule around the demands of her day job: "We chose sort of a long engagement so we'd have some post-election time to plan. I think people that try and plan a wedding from a campaign bus are nuts, so we did not opt for that."

When she has a minute to breathe, Bruce spends time outdoors and with her family in D.C., goes for a run — she completed a half marathon earlier this year — or tests out new vegetarian recipes in the kitchen.

"I dream of one day being one of those people with a diehard hobby," she admits, "to be able to say, 'Oh, I'm a gourmet chef,' or 'I'm a pseudo-professional kayaker.' But so far nothing like that."

Bruce says she has no plans to this "crazy, strange place" anytime soon, saying with a smile, "I'm hooked on the pace of TV, and I think I've come to realize what a Washingtonian I am and how much I love politics. Anything I can do to stay on this track would be great."

— Judy Kurtz

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