Let’s start with the climax, except there isn’t one. Upstairs in Lavo’s Executive Suite, dozens of professionals are mingling in clusters with their backs to the election footage airing on two large flatscreen televisions. Suddenly, “Obama Next Elected President” is on the screen.
Nobody reacts. No tears or cheers, no screams or swear words, no hugging or high-fiving; people turn to the television momentarily and go back to their conversations.
“We’re just ready for it to be over already. Too many commercials,” says one woman, a sentiment reiterated by others throughout the night. Another woman, when I ask her election prediction, says, “I’m a shopper, not a gambler. I should get an ‘I shopped’ sticker since I stimulate the economy. Shopping is all I care about.” From another man at the party: “I don’t want either candidate. I’m ready to sing ‘O, Canada!’”
These “movers and shakers of Las Vegas” are too occupied with networking and passing out business cards to watch the election progress. McCain gives his speech - without sound – as I focus on analyzing his facial expressions.
Then a man gets up on a platform, grabs a microphone, and says, “Ladies and gentleman, I have an important announcement to make!” I knew what would follow, “We have a new president of the United States.” But instead, “On the 22nd the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation will be hosting a gala.”
I ask a nearby older man, dressed in a beautiful suit and tie with a silk handkerchief in his pocket, why no one is reacting to the historic occasion. “This is a mature crowd,” he replies. So, I leave.