3/3 Easy Living

They tell you your hardest jobs will be your earliest. They don’t lie. Your best paying jobs will come when you are established. They still aren’t lying. What qualifies as hard work by 38 is making spreadsheets add up and handling personnel. That is kinda harder to accept than it should be. You’re not the guy out beating the pavement anymore. You hope that life is passed.

Las Vegas after two weeks is a fascinating place. Clark County has over 2 million people, but you literally go from being in a population center to being in the desert immediately. Los Angeles is over three hours away, Phoenix is over four, and Reno and Salt Lake City are over six and five hours away. These are the close cities! Unlike the New York to Washington corridor with four major cities, the southwest literally has no real suburbs in between. The weather is beautiful, but the air quality can be rough, and the dust can aggravate the sinuses. There are super rich high rollers around, but lots of homeless folks sleeping outside too. Most of the actual residents here are working class and don’t hang out on the strip. Yet the strip is always packed.

The contrasts, man…

Two years ago today was Super Tuesday, the night Joe Biden put a death grip on the Democratic nomination for President, putting Bernie, Warren, Bloomberg, and whatever other crazies still thought they could win the nomination in the dust. I was proud to be apart of that team, working on Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Massachusetts for the Biden campaign. In the two years since, I’ve faded further and further away from that moment in my life. I’m proud to have played my role in those victories, and in electing this President, but I’m less and less “married” to it, compared to that day. I feel much more free to talk about the President and his team today, since I’m not paid by them, and I’m much more open minded to criticizing the Democratic Party than I was then. And with all that said, I’m proud I worked for Team Joe.

There’s an open question that has been debated ever since- why did Joe win the nomination? Today it seems like it was inevitable, but it was truly in doubt then. Bernie had so much momentum, so many small donors, and energy. Warren had “a plan for everything,” a party that seemed to want to nominate a woman, and real support among activists. Bloomberg spent half a billion dollars and was making inroads in the South right up until South Carolina night. Buttigieg and Klobuchar had started gaining ground and generating interest in Iowa and New Hampshire. Yet they all faded away, and fast, in the 72 hours after the South Carolina Primary. Biden literally won once, and the race was over.

It’s important to understand that activists, small donors, and Twitter supporters are mostly not representative of the people who really choose Democratic nominees. The coalition picking winners, a collection of working class Black, white, Latino, and Asian voters, are not seeking a revolution. They’re less concerned about bold change or identity than getting someone competent, someone trustworthy, and someone they think is sane. They don’t think America sucks and they don’t want a crusade to destroy everyone who disagrees with them. And more than anything, they wanted someone they thought had a chance. While the political class obsessed over every last supposed hit Biden took, most people shrugged their shoulders. It is possible, though I hope and believe it’s unlikely, that future Democratic electorates of millennials and zoomers will move future nominating contests towards the ideological left. If they do so, the Democratic Party will become substantially less viable and useful in American life, and America will move politically right. Biden won two years ago today though because these folks are precisely who doesn’t pick Democratic nominees. We’re all better off because of that.

Time has a funny way of changing you. From a hyper ambitious 23 year old college graduate going to Iowa to start a career that ends with you as a household name, to a 38 year old that wants to mostly be left alone, to chill out. I like my money now, but I really don’t need any attention, or want to be the face of anything. Change is a funny thing. It’s kind of a comforting thing though.

As I plan out my Spring in the West, I’m trying to pick out some games to go to. I definitely need to see a Vegas Golden Knights hockey game while here, but the stinky Flyers won’t be here, so it’ll have to be somebody else. The Oakland A’s triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas Aviators are a month away from starting, and I plan to see them. The Sixers do a trip through LA and Phoenix later this month, and I’d like nothing more than to see them beat on LeBron, if possible. Those cities are far though. The Phillies will do Denver in April, and Seattle and LA at my birthday week in May, just before I leave. So if there’s baseball this year, I’m seeing them. And of course, UFC and boxing matches are often here. What do I go see? I’m still working on it…

Until next time…

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