For anyone doubting that opportunity still exists in America, there is the story of Jaime Harrison. [Another Politico pro]
Harrison is a top aide to House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, a job that ranks among the most influential in Congress. He has an office at the dead center of the Capitol building – a place senators would envy – offering a perfectly aligned view of the Washington Monument. On the walls hang photos of him schmoozing with celebrities, politicians and celebrity politicians, from Dave Chappelle and Bono to Bill Richardson and Barack Obama. Most days, he works on the floor of the House of Representatives, directing Clyburn’s floor staff and conferring with members of Congress to make sure Democrats have enough votes to pass key legislation.
Learn how working at a bingo parlor and growing up “dirt poor” helped shaped this young man’s life.
Growing up, Harrison worked as a bingo hall caller, operating the ball machine and yelling the numbers out over the bowed heads of the players, the air smoky with the smell of hot dog grease.
“The boss always wanted me to go faster so he could get more games in,” he said. “I would speed it up, and then someone would say, ‘Boy, slow your ass down!'”
A very moving story about a small town kid with big town dreams.