Right now, they all have one job in mind: President of the United States. But like everyone else, their ambitions - and their options - were a lot more modest. Here are all the first jobs of each of the 24 candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination, from the teenage waitresses to the live-in nanny, the carpenter to the cabaret singer.
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Amy Klobuchar: Mug Washer/CarhopPhoto: Josh Edelson/AFP / Getty Images
Amy Klobuchar, the accomplished lawyer and long-time Senator from Minnesota, kept herself busy throughout her high school years, not just in the classroom but in the real world as well. Those who frequented the fast-food establishments in Wayzata in those days might remember seeing Klobuchar at her very first job at the local A&W, at which she served as a carhop - a job that came with another very A&W-specific part of the job description:
My job for A&W involved cleaning the mugs by plunging them into a series of vats of hot water with varying concentrations of soap. Then I would put them in a freezer and, voilà, they were frosty, just as advertised. The only prblem was that we hardly ever changed the water and it didn't even stay hot for very long.
- Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images News / Getty Images
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.
Julian Castro: White House InternPhoto: Ethan Miller/Getty Images News / Getty Images
Julian Castro and his twin brother have been a dual force in the Texas political scene for far longer than one might assume given their relatively young age. Among other political accomplishments, Julian has served on the San Antonio City Council and, under President Barack Obama, served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. But his proximity to mainstream politics dates all the way back to the mid-1990s, when he served as a White House intern during the Clinton administration.
- Photo: Jovelle Tamayo/The Washington Post / Getty Images
Washington governor and Democratic hopeful Jay Inslee has spent decades in public service, but he still fondly remembers his first taste of hard work - back before he was in high school, working alongside his father with a couple buckets of paint:
Around 13 or 14, I started painting houses with my dad during the summer. Those were glorious, beautiful, paint-filled days. To work with my dad, I felt like I had achieved manhood. The great thing about painting is that while you are on the scaffold, you can talk and work at the same time. I learned a whole bunch from those talks with him.