Spencer Thueson, a 27-year-old who attends school at the University of Utah, was chosen to attend the State of the Union with Senator Mike Lee after Lee chose to give his extra ticket to one of his interns. Thueson said a staff member usually attends the event, but Lee had decided to hold a drawing for interns this year.
“When my name was drawn, I was crossing my fingers that I would be able to go to it,” he said. “I’ve watched the State of the Union for many years. It’s a tradition with my dad.”
Thueson said when his name was chosen, he “kind of went numb.”
“I couldn’t believe I had the opportunity to go to the events that I’ve watched for years,” he said.
Thueson’s State of the Union experience began around 4:30 p.m. that day. He was able to attend a walk through with Lee, then attend media interviews.
“The most exciting part of the whole experience was to be able to be behind the scenes with Senator Lee and to see what goes on throughout the process of getting ready for the State of the Union as far as interviews go,” he said. “At the State of the Union, the most exciting part was just to be there in a room full of high profile people that you see on TV all the time that make very important decisions for our country.”
Thueson said he didn’t agree with much of the President’s speech, however.
“A couple areas that I did agree with was when he was praising our military efforts and troops, as well as not letting Iran get a nuclear weapon,” he said.
He said he felt much of the rest of the speech was contradictory to what President Obama has done while in office.
“… He talked about we need to lower regulations on corporations, but that is not what Obama has done throughout his term.”
Thueson is hoping to pursue a career in public service and to find employment with the State Department or the FBI. He has been interning with Lee for three weeks.