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The Political Life - from campaigns to capitols and everywhere in between. A show about the people whose lives are immersed in the political world, and how they got there. Politicians, lobbyists, pollsters, and business people. If they're on the show, they're living the political life.

Hosted by Jim O'Brien, The Political Life introduces you to the personalities and "day in the life" experiences of some of the most interesting and dynamic individuals in the field. 

Apr 8, 2019

Today’s show features Ben Pearlman, Head of State Government Affairs, Northern Region for Lowe’s Companies, Inc., where he manages operations in over 25 states. Lowe’s started as a small local store, growing to a Fortune 40 company and national retailer of hardware and home appliances, with 2,200 stores across North America and 300,000 employees.

  • Ben grew up in West Lafayette, Indiana.
  • Ben attended American University for his B.A. and obtained his J.D. at Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.
  • Growing up in a political family, he became involved very early, attending monthly gatherings of local and county elected officials where he jokes, he was the youngest person attending by 40 years.
  • During college he interned on the Hill in the Senate, before returning to Indiana to work for the Indiana House Democratic Caucus.
  • He returned to D.C. working in the U.S. House of Representatives before spending time working as a Federal Relations Assistant for Indiana University.
  • He then moved to Massachusetts where he worked as a Legislative Attorney at the state capitol, and later as an Attorney/ Contract Lobbyist for Serlin Haley LLP.
  • Prior to his current role, Ben served as the Senior Manager of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Comcast.

  “Especially when looking for jobs and internships in government affairs, any opportunity where you get to meet a lot of people very quickly, that is where I point people to go.”  

 “This is the most challenging role I have been in because there is no shortage of things to do and there is no shortage of things to learn.”

Ben breaks down some of the seemingly complicated jargon that lobbyist often use, and offers insight into some of the common trade associations in the retail industry. Working in government affairs for such a large company, Ben works on a range of issues from labor issues, consumer privacy regulation, to tariffs.

Ben recommends, “Before you go into government affairs, I suggest learning the business. If you have an interest in politics and you can learn the business, you will be better off.” With that being said, Ben suggests looking into the internships Lowe’s offers out of their corporate office, here.

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