Joe Biden’s prom invite: A teen aiming for a future in politics?

Vice President Joe Biden has kindly declined an invitation to the prom made by a Connecticut student, but his potential teen prom date gained more for her bold move than just flowers and an invite to DC.

Dawn Maselli/AP
Talia Maselli, 17, had invited Vice President Joe Biden to her high school prom in Newington. Mr. Biden couldn't make it, but he sent a handwritten card and a corsage. Talia poses at her home in Newington, Conn. with the wrist corsage sent to her by the vice president on Friday, May 16.

Connecticut student Talia Maselli, 17, asked the Vice President Joe Biden to the prom, and although the vice president sent a decline – along with a beautiful corsage and a note inviting her to D.C. – you can’t help but wonder if the teen is on her way to a career in politics.

Talia invited the vice president last fall, mentioning that she was putting in her bid early, with the assumption that lots of girls would ask the vice president to the prom. On that point she may have overshot, but a little flattery never hurts. 

“I am inviting you so far in advance because I’m sure many 17-year-old girls send you prom invitations, and I had to beat them to it,” the girl wrote to Mr. Biden back in the fall, according to the New York Post.

My first thought was that I never would have done this when I was her age, mainly because I had no interest in dating Al Gore, but more because I had such a little interest in politics at the time. However, Talia’s invitation impresses me, because it’s refreshing to see a teen view a politician the same way many might see a celebrity. 

And Talia might be representing a new brand of politically connected young adult, one who is informed, perhaps because of the more-digitally connected nature of teens today. 

According to the Rock The Vote,”After a nearly continuous downward turnout trend since 1972, turnout among 18-29 year olds was up significantly in 2004 and 2006, and more than doubled during the 2008 primaries.”

Similarly, voters ages 18-29 represented 19 percent of the voters in the last presidential election in 2012, according to early National Exit Poll, cited by the Huffington Post. That’s an increase over 2008.  

That said, President Obama's administration as a whole seems to have made a big investment in speaking to young voters, and Talia’s invitation might be a sign that they are listening.

My husband and I just started re-watching “The West Wing” television series, which includes a gag in which the White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (played by actor Bradley Whitford) seems to be always tracked by a couple of star-struck college political science majors, much like groupies might follow around their favorite boy band. Talia just might be one of those driven political science majors a few years from now.

In today’s world of making connections and making an impression, it seems this young lady has definitely achieved both. Hopefully her pluck will serve her well when she makes it out of high school, and this bold invitation could just be practice for her throwing her hat in the ring for office a few years down the road.

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