The Washington Post

Maryland’s man in Washington

Kaiyi Xie, the honorable student body president of the University of Maryland, was on Capitol Hill on Monday throwing the weight of his 26,000 constituents around in the epic debt ceiling battle.

While it’s a decent possibility that most of the voters who elected him are currently lobbying on beach towels and not wearing much clothing, President Xie wore a rather presidential uniform: dark suit, blue shirt, striped tie.

He also sounded, if not Lincolnesque, very presidential.

In an interview with “Top Line,” an ABC News political Web show, Xie threw his support behind the so-called Gang of Six efforts, saying, presidentially: “Encapsulating that spirit of bipartisanship and having that be the foundation upon which we have a plan is, I think, the foundation we are advocating for.”

Xie, a senior majoring in bioengineering and math, was joined in the interview by Georgetown University student body president Michael Meaney. They are representing not just their hard-studying constituents but more than 100 other student body presidents who want a resolution to the debt quagmire.

Students, they said, actually do care about debt.

“They are listening to what Washington is doing right now because they want to see their future be better than what their parents had and that their future be good for what their children are gonna get,” Xie said presidentially.

How’s that message resonating on the Hill?

Well, um, so far, most of the Congressional leadership has been too busy to return their calls. But on Tuesday, Xie and Meaney are holding a conference call with a president representing slightly more constituents than their own.

President Obama.

I’ll follow up with the president(s) -- Xie and Meaney --  after their chat.

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post's local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.

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