I truly have no idea why the footnote links below only work in reverse. Maybe I’ll leave that method behind as I code this going forward. It was a long struggle with no reward. – K
Chicago — FORTY-FIVE DAYS UNTIL END OF WORLD. I wasn’t to be exiled just yet. They hadn’t even gotten the phones in at the new office in LeBlanc, so I would have at least a few more days of work in civilization.
A statewide campaign is not something you do if you are any less than 255% invested. (I did just let the % slip in there. I did it willfully, and I’m not sorry about it.) What I mean is, campaigning in general is hard and thankless and any grizzled old vet will tell you that it’s different now than it used to be, which is to say it is worse than it used to be. You can work your hands to the bone, go without sleep and eat shitty road food or awful warmed-over slop at Rotary Clubs and fundraisers while you hear this person who you admire spout the same focus-tested talking points they’ve been hammering on for months, all in utter futility when some rich asshole who owns a casino or an oil rig decides to fund your opponent or your candidate gets it in his head to put out a stupid tweet about rape. In a state the size of Illinois, it feels as if most of your time is spent trying to morph into the shape of a car seat while you grip a steering wheel and stare out at cornfields that stretch to the edge of the spiral arm of the galaxy.
I had respect for those who did it even back when I was essentially their sworn enemy, which is to say I was a reporter. That is to say: I was a good reporter, and a good reporter is the sworn enemy of somebody who is running a campaign, because he will wreck that campaign if he is given even a passing chance. By this point, though, I had come away from those petty little concerns about democratic governance. It was us or them, and they wanted to put women in kitchens and gays in camps, if they were honest with themselves. It’s easy to be the one who sits back and criticizes and snarks, but try running things. Try being somebody who makes a thing that works.