Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

From the Front Lines: On Leave for Lieberman

Drew Johnson-Skinner/The Hoya Andy Asensio (COL ’05) works for Senator Joe Lieberman’s (D-Conn.) presidential campaign.

MANCHESTER, N.H.-Andy Asensio (COL ’05) is not registered for any classes this semester. He has no housing or meal plan. He told Student Accounts he is not paying tuition.

Right now, Asensio is in New Hampshire. In a few days, he may go to South Carolina. Or maybe Arizona, Delaware or New Mexico. He doesn’t know yet.

What Asensio does know is that he wants Joe Lieberman to be the next president. And he is willing to take a year off from Georgetown to help make it happen.

Asensio has been working in the Connecticut senator’s New Hampshire campaign headquarters here in Manchester for seven months. Today, New Hampshire voters go to the polls and Asensio will know if his work paid off.

“There’s such a small margin of voters,” he says of today’s primary. “Any moment matters, everything counts.”

He’s been here since June 2003 and originally planned on returning to Georgetown at the start of this semester. But, now, after investing much of the past year in Lieberman’s campaign, he is staying to see it through to the end.

Asensio, who grew up in Connecticut, heard about a summer internship with Lieberman’s New Hampshire campaign last year. It was unpaid, but after a previous internship for a Senate campaign in 2002, Asensio says he knew that “New Hampshire was the place to be.” So, he left, moved into a house here shared by campaign staffers and went to work.

On Sept. 1, 2003, he was hired as a paid, full-time aide. He has his own office, off of the campaign’s main floor. It is here, in this orange-walled room, that Asensio spends most of his time. There is a sign on his door, which may or may not be in jest, which reads: “Business Hours – 8 a.m. to 3 a.m., Monday through Sunday.”

Asensio says he’s spent many nights sleeping on a blue couch just outside his office door. He would work until he had to sleep, then wake up in the morning and go right back at it, never leaving the room.

“I more or less live in the office at this point,” he says.

There is a small refrigerator in the corner, on top is a half-empty bottle of Sunkist, inside are three soda bottles.

“I’ve been told I’ve been crazy over the past days,” Asensio says. “Maybe all that soda is why.”

On his walls are various maps of New Hampshire and five large sheets of white paper, with hundreds of names written in green marker. These names are the evidence of one of Asensio’s main projects while he has been here: assembling an “Independents for Joe” list. Released to the media a few weeks ago, Asensio’s list of supporters garnered what Asensio called “fantastic coverage” for Lieberman’s campaign.

The “Independents for Joe” project is typical of much of Asensio’s work – providing the political network that the campaign’s press and field offices use to win votes.

When Marsha Lieberman, the senator’s mother, was in the office making phone calls to undecided voters, Asensio sat by her side, helping to answer voters’ questions.

“One of the reasons I chose Georgetown was to be involved in this type of thing,” Asensio says. But, he found he had to go 480 miles away to find it.

Now, he will graduate a year later than his classmates back in Washington, D.C.

Asensio says he does not miss the classes, but is afraid that the people he knew and organizations he was involved in will not be around when he returns.

“I miss Georgetown from time to time, but this is where I’d rather be,” he says. “I knew this was something I had to do.”

 Kerry Addresses GMU After Win FEB. 13, 2004-Edwards Makes One Last Pitch to Va. Voters FEB. 10, 2004-Edwards Looks for Southern Comfort FEB. 3, 2004-From the Front Lines: On Leave for Lieberman JAN. 27, 2004-From the Front Lines: Hoyas Lend a Hand in N.H. JAN. 23, 2004

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