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Random Democratic Candidates' First Jobs

  • Tom Steyer on Random Democratic Candidates' First Jobs

    (#25) Tom Steyer

    • Producer/Director

    A late entrant into the 2020 Democratic field, Tom Steyer has never held public office but has a long history in finance. In fact, that's where the now-billionaire got his professional start. He spent two years as an analyst for the investment bank Morgan Stanley before forging ahead toward a lucrative career as a hedge-fund manager.

  • Mike Gravel on Random Democratic Candidates' First Jobs

    (#20) Mike Gravel

    Alaskan senator and Democratic firebrand Mike Gravel may have been a late entry into the race, but his work résumé - both in and out of politics - goes back decades. Back in the 1960s, he worked as a railroad brakeman and also drove a taxi. But even earlier than that, he painted houses - which was a family affair:

    My two older brothers and I worked with our father from our early teens in house painting and general construction/rehabilitation business. During the same period, I became interested in civic affairs and worked on numerous local and state political campaigns.

  • Peter Buttigieg on Random Democratic Candidates' First Jobs

    (#5) Peter Buttigieg

    • Politician

    Those who want a more adorable origin story of Pete Buttigieg's professional career might point to his early years taking care of his neighbor's dogs - it's certainly good work if you can get it. But the South Bend mayor and upstart presidential candidate didn't get a more grueling taste of the work life until his own uncle recruited him for a catering gig.

    "My uncle had kind of a catering operation," Buttigieg said on the South Bend Beat podcast. "So I worked at stands selling water and drinks at festivals over the summer."

  • Andrew Yang on Random Democratic Candidates' First Jobs

    (#10) Andrew Yang

    Enterpreneur Andrew Yang may have firmly established himself as the "business candidate," and his advocacy for Universal Basic Income has earned his candidacy a bit of attention. But despite his own financial success, no one can say he hasn't paid his dues as a blue-collar employee. In fact, he remembers his days on the low end of the restaurant totem pole well, and has mentioned them frequently in interviews and social media:

    I was a busboy at a local Chinese restaurant as a teenager - "The Imperial Wok." My English surprised the patrons. We got paid primarily in tips. Now I always tip well.

  • John Hickenlooper on Random Democratic Candidates' First Jobs

    (#13) John Hickenlooper

    • Politician

    For the 2019-2020 election cycle, John Hickenlooper is officially a candidate for the Democratic nomination. But he's worn a number of different hats over the years - among them geologist, bar owner, mayor, and Governor of Colorado. But in his younger days, he held a much less glamorous position, and one all too familiar to teenagers nationwide: lawn mower:

    When I turned 16 I got a summer job with a company called Lawn Kare. They had teams of five kids each, and we would go out and mow lawns for places like country clubs, estates and churches... The bad part was that you had to be there at 6 a.m. Since I had to ride my bike four miles to get there, I had to get up at 5. That’s way too early for a teenager. But the nice part was that we got off work at 2:30, so we still had a big chunk of the day to play.

  • Marianne Williamson on Random Democratic Candidates' First Jobs

    (#23) Marianne Williamson

    • Writer

    Self-help author Marianne Williamson is one of the more unknown of the Democratic candidates, at least from a national perspective. But those who have bought her books or sought her advice - including celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey - are more than familiar with her work. The same could be said for anyone hanging around the New York lounge scene in the 1970s, as Williamson briefly served as a cabaret singer after dropping out of college:

    'Work' is relative... I sang, the same way Bill Clinton played the saxophone.

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About This Tool

The first job that the 2020 Democratic candidates in the United States did in the early years is what most people did not expect. Some people work in restaurants, some work as gardeners, and some collect empty bottles, which are completely different from their current image on the political stage. Some candidates mentioned their work experiences in interviews and said that they benefited from their first job.

The random tool lists 25 Democratic candidates' first jobs, such as Elizabeth Warren, who started working as a waiter in a Mexican restaurant in Oklahoma City at the age of 13, while Joe Biden worked part-time as a gardener at the school where he was attending to earn tuition.

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