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College Republicans power player David Copley has left the University to intern in the Karl Rove-managed Office of Political Affairs at the White House.

The former chairman of the State Federation of College Republicans declined to comment on his new position, but it has taken the 21-year-old Wharton senior completely away from his studies.

"I think he could actually be the next Karl Rove in training," said College senior Daniel Gomez, a former chairman of the Penn College Republicans. "He's definitely got the motivation. He's definitely got the ability."

Gomez experienced Copley's political maneuvering firsthand while running for office in the Pennsylvania College Republicans as part of a group that opposed Copley. Gomez was ousted from his leadership position in the Penn chapter in 2004 -- largely because of Copley's efforts.

And though Copley currently holds no position on the board of the Penn College Republicans, members said they have lost a valuable member of their team.

"We're easily the strongest chapter in the state," said College senior and College Republicans Chairwoman Stephanie Steward. "I'm sure it's due in no small part to his influence and work."

However, Steward noted that the Penn College Republicans were not dependent upon Copley's leadership.

"The Penn chapter is going to be affected very minimally," Steward said. "For all practical purposes we've been functioning on our own for those two years" during which he served as state chairman.

As a sophomore, Copley chaired the Penn College Republicans and worked to increase membership and build the organization into much of what it is today, current board members said.

"Stephanie and Dave were the two primary players that brought the College Republicans back," said College junior and College Republicans president Eric Rechtschaffen.

After strengthening the conservative voice at Penn, Copley did the same on the state level, growing increasingly politically connected and demonstrating his knack for politics.

In large part due to his efforts, Copley and the state college republicans were a key element of President Bush's re-election campaign in Pennsylvania last fall.

"He basically took the College Republican organization in Pennsylvania from a sputtering group and turned it into an entity that politicians in the state respect," said College sophomore Nicholas Miccarelli, a member of the Penn College Republicans.

Miccarelli is vying for Copley's statewide seat next year.

"I saw how much Dave was able to do and it did inspire me to see that a college student could do so much and be so influential in the party and in getting out the vote," Miccarelli said.

"He's a great asset and is going to be a great asset to the White House I'm sure -- but he's definitely given us an example for other people to follow, and I definitely think we have some young leaders on campus that will be able to do that."

Before his departure, Copley served largely as an adviser to the current board.

"He attended all of our board meetings -- he was always there when we had a question," Steward said. "He was very knowledgeable about state politics and national politics."

In addition, he provided "insight in terms of event planning and in terms of policy issues -- so we're definitely going to miss his guidance on that," she added.

Still, Steward said the organization will move on.

"We're very well connected with the state chapter, but at the same time Dave made an effort to reach out to all of the other schools as well," Steward said.

Steward, Rechtschaffen and Miccarelli agreed that politics would long be in Copley's future.

"I think Dave is going to run for emperor," Miccarelli joked.

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