The Life of a Young White House Aide Isn’t Very Exciting

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Photo: Olaf Blecker for the New York Times

Young people love Barack Obama. Back when he was a candidate, they loved performing miserable tasks for him, like shoveling snow, knocking on doors, and handing out buttons. But now he's the president and many of those young people work in the White House, so their lives must be a lot better, right? Not exactly.

The Times checked in on some of the young people working in the White House, whom they call "the Obama 20-Somethings," and found out that their late nights, early mornings, and frantic days aren't that different from the ones on the campaign trail or even in college. Some things about being an Obama twentysomething are terrible. Like waking up early and bringing their boss his 7:45 a.m. tea. Also, if they want to go to the gym, they have to do it at 5:30 a.m. And Facebook pages must be kept innocent and the sneaky media must be regarded with skepticism.

But other parts aren't so bad. They all live in the same neighborhood, which is pretty much the set of their Real World. They play pickup basketball and softball (on a team called Stotus) with their bosses. And sometimes they get to hang out with celebrities.

Some of the details might be different, and these kids get a hand in changing the world, but generally, Obama twentysomethings don't have dramatically different lives from any other type of twentysomething (they work hard, party hard, and use their BlackBerrys a lot). But there is one perk they get that no one else does: playing beer pong and Rock Band with David Axelrod.

All the Obama 20-Somethings [NYT]