One of the best/worst features of the upcoming legislative session is that there is now a Twitter account for Miss Rotunda, the title given annually to the unofficial beauty contest among the young women working as interns or runners for law or lobbying firms.
You can follow her @MissRotunda, whose profile reads “I don’t apologize for my sassiness or expert knowledge of all things Gilmore, Gossip Girl or Kardashian! Look out Tallahassee politicos!”
Steve Bosquet once had the oh-so-difficult assignment of reporting on the competition to become Miss Rotunda.
These women would be conspicuous in this ocean of men in dark suits even if they did not show up in the marble-floored Rotunda dressed in heels and plunging necklines, as some do. Their perceived ability to speed the legislative process seems to be just one of their qualifications.
“They hire these girls because they’re drop-dead gorgeous,” says Bob Boyd, 42, a lobbyist who has hired interns to monitor legislation. “Let’s face it. Some legislators like beautiful women.”
Some lobbyist assistants appear to have little to do besides keep track of bills, a job that no longer needs to be done by hand because legislative Web sites are updated in real time.
In past years, lobbyists say, the assistants were called “leaners” because they positioned themselves to gather information by leaning in on a rival lobbyist’s conversations.
Recruited from the campus of nearby Florida State University to monitor fast-moving bills, the women themselves are closely monitored.
Lobbyists spend less time staring at their BlackBerry screens and more time judging the annual lobbyist beauty contest known as “Miss Rotunda.” The title is bestowed – completely unofficially, and for their own amusement – by a small group of male Capitol insiders.
Obviously, @MissRotunda will be a Twitter account worth following this legislative session.