Politics & Policy

Would-Be Clinton Campaign Intern Calls on Hillary to Pay Her Interns

(Justin Sullivan/Getty)

Pratt Institute graduate Carolyn Osorio was over-the-moon when Hillary Clinton announced in April that she’d be taking another shot at the White House. The self described “girl who slept in a Hillary for President T-shirt for most of 2007, cried when she conceded to Barack Obama, railed at Congress during the Benghazi hearings and was an early follower of Texts from Hillary” immediately applied for a position to work with Hillary for America in Nevada. 

Shortly thereafter, Ms. Osorio was offered the job. Following an “elaborate screening and interview process,” Hillary for America asked her to move to Nevada, an early primary state, and work for them. To her dismay, Osorio had to turn the position down. 

While Osorio would have been elated to accept the position, Hillary for America expected her to move there and work full-time without pay. Naturally, Osorio was shocked. She wasn’t signing up to volunteer, but to actually work for the campaign. 

On Wednesday, Osorio published an op-ed in USA Today voicing her frustration with the former secretary of state, and her decision to not pay interns and field staff aiming to help her become president.

“I had hoped a trailblazer would be more willing to break the mold of indentured servitude that haunts my generation,” Osorio writes. “Finding out that Hillary perpetuates the exploitation known as unpaid internships was like discovering that Santa wasn’t real.”

‘Finding out that Hillary perpetuates the exploitation known as unpaid internships was like discovering that Santa wasn’t real.’

Unpaid internships and jobs have been a topic of controversy for years. While Clinton was serving as secretary of state, the Obama administration tried to crack down on unpaid internships in the private sector. (Osorio points out the hypocrisy of this effort in her op-ed: At the same time as Obama pushed private employers to abandon the practice, the White House continued not to pay the 300 interns it accepts each year.) 

Even Clinton herself has been a vocal opponent of unpaid labor. “Businesses have taken advantage of unpaid internships to an extent that it is blocking the opportunities for young people to move on into paid employment,” Clinton said at UCLA in 2013. “More businesses need to move their so-called interns to employees.”

Finding employment is one of the biggest struggles college-aged people face, and often times, internships can be a good place to start. With the current unemployment rate for Millennials sitting at a staggering 14 percent, Osorio is dumbfounded that Hillary for America isn’t offering paid positions. 

#related#”For a woman I supported to demand this of me felt repulsive,” she writes. “Forget arguments about raising the minimum wage. I can’t even get a wage. What exactly are Hillary Clinton’s priorities and how do I change them?”

Osorio says that she had previously accepted two unpaid internships in California and New York, both of which turned out “bad,” so she promised herself after graduating college that she’d never agree to work for free again. 

Even though she thoroughly disagrees with Hillary for America’s decision to not pay their interns and called out the campaign’s hypocrisy, Osorio still plans on voting for Clinton, adding “Hillary will get my free vote even if she will never have my free help.”

— Julia Porterfield is an intern at National Review, editor-in-chief of Red Millennial, and a junior at Regent University.

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