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Boonsboro senior's 2036 run for White House begins early

May 18, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Amanda Bundick says she is running for president of the United States in 2036.

The senior at Boonsboro High School has her life planned, decades ahead: college, practicing workers' rights law, then moving up the rungs of politics, all the way to the top.

A steadfast Democrat, the 18-year-old has decided on the "governor" path to the White House, just like four of the last five presidents, instead of the "U.S. senator" path.

Why wait until she's 47, when the minimum age for a president is 35?

By then, "I'll have had enough time in my field to make changes," she said.

Bundick said her aim is to "level the playing field" for the middle class and start a national health-care system.

"We've got big business running the country instead of the common man," she said, in full campaign mode almost three decades early.

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Bundick spent two weeks during the past Maryland General Assembly session as a state Senate page.

Rather than feeling uncomfortable sitting on the Republican side, Bundick relished it.

Debating the opposite party is more lively, she said. Sometimes, she talked to GOP senators during floor sessions.

Many issues were familiar to her. For others, particularly some environmental bills, she researched them so she was informed when they came up.

She said she learned strategy, too. On the session's last day, Republicans prepared to filibuster a bill; Bundick had to help distribute procedural instructions.

"Amanda was a very impressive page," said Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington. "She was always upbeat. She was always interested in what was going on."

Munson said he'd like to have her work in his local office, if she didn't already have a job.

Bundick works at Eyecare Professionals in Hagerstown. She said the job has taught her lessons about social interactions, not that she was shy about speaking out before.

At Boonsboro High School, Bundick is vice president of the Student Government Association. She was on the school's "We the People" team that won the district and state championships in a competition based on the U.S. Constitution.

She's the salutatorian of her class and a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.

In second grade, Bundick said, her ambition was to be a pediatric neurosurgeon.

"Seventh-gradish, my political genes started kicking in," she said.

She picked up on her father's activism in his union and tagged along, learning much about the labor movement.

Arthur Bundick, Amanda's father, is vice president of the Central Maryland AFL-CIO Council. He was a lead lineman for Allegheny Power, but has been on disability for about a year.

"All I did was provide a starter," Arthur Bundick said of his daughter's ambition.

Amanda Bundick helped Democrat Allan Lichtman's unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign last year. After the primary, she worked on phone banks, urging union members to vote Democratic.

Excited to reach voting age this year, she'll study English and political science at Washington & Jefferson College near Pittsburgh and probably play volleyball.

She said it's just a coincidence - a pleasant one - that the school's nickname is "the Presidents."

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