Soon after the office opened, Wagner’s group moved into a separate, windowless room, the cave. Messina said he wanted them to lose all sense of time and to focus. Wagner also cited the secret nature of the work. I once unknowingly wandered near the cave, looking for a bathroom, and a young press aide chased me down and escorted me away. (Because it was also near the kitchen, at the time I thought the aide was concerned I might try to force a metaphor out of an exposed piece of rotting fruit.)
He said his work at A.M.G. would also help provide the Democratic Party with even better tools three years from now, when he and his colleagues say they want to be involved in 2016. “We’re going to bring it home,” McLean said.
But for now, he does not seem to miss Washington. “I respect everybody who’s working for the president — right? They’re incredible kids — incredible people — but you have a limited movement, because you’re hamstrung; the House is the House,” he said. “When you go where the money is and you go where people get reached, you have a transformational effect. Money creates change.”
The people in their 20s and 30s from the Obama tech team had seen others just like them get incredibly rich on innovations (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that were as transformational as anything they could hope to achieve in government.
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