By Evelyn Perez-Verdia
Who will the winners of the 2014 elections be? Many of the issues and candidates are tied and I doubt we will know who the real winner is until the night of November 4th, if we are lucky. What I can tell you is who is winning the race so far and especially during these last few weeks:
Fast Food Joints: You may be a reporter, a political advisor, a campaign director, a volunteer or the candidate himself, but whoever you may be, during those last campaign weeks there is always something to tend to and hardly any time for food. Every day it seems there is some big event to attend and more often than not you end up connecting with people instead of the buffet table. You become that couple that can’t find the time to eat at their own wedding, or at least not well. Since you’ve had little nourishment the entire day, you end up hitting the drive thru somewhere around 4:00 p.m. and ordering the largest hamburger and fries combo alongside some over-caffeinated beverage. It would make for an interesting study to see how far up the sales of these places go during election times.
Coffee: It is usually around 9:00 a.m. when a group of ill-tempered and inarticulate zombies walk in, turn on their laptops and immediately head over in the direction of that magic potion that Juan Valdez provides. It is the norm to push back at least three coffees a day during elections, preferably double shots. I myself am writing this article sitting at a Starbucks where I am having my third caffeine serving of the day and where I’m surrounded by eight politicians having a heated meeting at almost 6:00 p.m.
Dark circle concealer: Does anybody know the meaning of “sleep” during those last weeks of the election race? Pay attention to your candidates and you’ll notice how the closer we get to November 4th, the worse they look. The night of November 3rd becomes that sleepless and endless night where everyone working on the elections just keep going straight and end up getting by on adrenaline alone for the remainder of the day.
Kleenex: Politicians and those working political campaigns could go one on one against soccer players to see who the biggest cry-baby is. Working in a political campaign you know you are in a game where there is only one winner and the others are all losers, and usually the loser will override his or her crying quota for the entire year during the night of November the 4th. But it is crucial to remain as seemingly calm as possible, smile and make that polite phone call to your opposition mumbling something congratulatory, at least until all those cameras have been turned off and everyone has finally gone home. By the time the night is finally over, you crawl back to your room where you will find yourself hugging your pillow and sobbing incoherent words into it.
It is a different story for the campaign workers who end up drowning their sorrows in the bar at their “victory party” while they cry hugging their Communications Director who is by this time hoarse from shouting all night and has band aids on each finger from typing so hard. Be that as it may, they are all out of a job by the next day.
It is not easy working election races where you give up your weekends and time with family and friends so that your candidate may be given the chance to do good on their promises. It is not just that, but it is also coping with your own ego when defeated. Politicians are passionate folk and when facing failure, we also feel we have let down our community. And so, ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens behind the curtain of a political campaign. The day after November 4th, we throw away the concealers, clean out our desks of balls of used tissues and promise ourselves we will never eat another burger! That is, at least, until the next election.