Lucas Boyce has been on a roll almost as tumultuous as the hurricane that nearly threatened the GOP's main event, ever since he touched down in Tampa, where he served as a campaign surrogate during the Republican National Convention.
Between media interviews, working the convention's communications center and hosting Google chats with lawmakers and voters in key swing states, the Missouri native developed a newfound respect for the journalists and pundits that campaigns normally despise. He's never been more simultaneously exhausted and exhilarated.
Boyce, 33, was born prematurely to a drug-addicted call girl. On day 10 of his life, he entered foster care and was adopted by his foster mother at age 3. She didn't have much money, but the determination she instilled in him has been invaluable.
Born with drugs in his system, Boyce experienced some developmental delays and struggled in school early on. Rather than allow him to wallow in despair when he failed kindergarten, his mother told him he could do anything he put his mind to if he worked harder than anyone else and created a plan.
In the '90s, when "Bill Clinton was president and Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls ran the earth," Boyce, who was his high school graduating class' valedictorian, decided he wanted to work at the White House, travel on Air Force One and work for an NBA team. He had no idea how he'd achieve such lofty goals, but he did it.
After 9/11, while serving as a White House intern, he was randomly chosen to participate in a photo opportunity on the South Lawn with President George W. Bush.
"He was like, 'Hey, I'm George.' I responded in the only way that a person who'd never met anybody of importance other than my mom could," with "What up, man. I'm Lucas," he recalls, and did "the brother thing, pulling him in for a hug."
W loved it, and the next day the president asked Boyce's boss what his story was and how he could help the young man. Boyce temporarily turned down the chance to work at the White House to finish school. When he graduated in 2003, though, he moved to Washington to work on Bush's reelection campaign and in 2005 began working in communications in the vice president's office, on African-American outreach and later professional sports outreach. In 2008, Boyce left to manage community relations and government affairs for the Orlando Magic.
Boyce reckons he was always a conservative, and certainly his mother promoted the Republican principles of "individual responsibility and liberty." He says one can't be an American and not be proud that the nation elected an African-American to its highest office, but he also believes that the Romney/Ryan team would do a better job at creating an environment in which the economy can thrive again.
"I really believe that the government is not in the business of creating jobs, but it can provide an environment in which [businesses] can create jobs. I think that's the role of government," Boyce said. "And I think the Romney/Ryan ticket is best suited to do that at this time in our nation's history."
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(Photo: Eric Draper/ White House)