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Seeds Of Political Engagement? They're Planted Early

For some, it was parents or grandparents. For others, it was school elections, field trips to Washington, D.C. or programs like Girls State. Those were the answers we got recently when we asked NPR listeners to share photos and to tell us: who or what got you interested or involved in politics?

We got dozens of responses, and these are some of our favorites, complete with '80s hair and antique campaign buttons.

Chelsea Kiene posted two photos on Instagram. The first is her being sworn into Weston Elementary School's student council by, Randy Gardner — who's now an Ohio state senator.

Chelsea Kiene writes:<em> Here is the first trace of photographic evidence: my first inauguration, circa 1996 (I was sworn into Weston Elementary School's student council by now Ohio State Senator Randy Gardner). </em>
/ @chelseakiene via Instagram
/
@chelseakiene via Instagram
Chelsea Kiene writes: Here is the first trace of photographic evidence: my first inauguration, circa 1996 (I was sworn into Weston Elementary School's student council by now Ohio State Senator Randy Gardner).

"My interest and involvement in politics is so deeply rooted that I honestly cannot trace it back to one source (policy debates were commonplace at the dinner table and in my social circles)," writes Kiene.

Chelsea Kiene writes: <em>Dug this out of the Kiene archives. Grandpa and Grandma Kiene with President Nixon. Grandma is undeniably fan-girling in this shot.</em>
/ @chelseakiene via Instagram
/
@chelseakiene via Instagram
Chelsea Kiene writes: Dug this out of the Kiene archives. Grandpa and Grandma Kiene with President Nixon. Grandma is undeniably fan-girling in this shot.

And, it turns out, political enthusiasm goes back generations in her family.

This photo is of her grandparents with President Nixon. "Grandma is undeniably fan-girling in this shot," she writes. "Apparently the apple fell only a short distance from the tree."

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Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.
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