The Life of a Political Operative, Explained

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The staffers who strategize, canvass, and coordinate for candidates get in on the latest Facebook meme.

politicaloperativememe.banner.facebook.jpg

No doubt you've encountered the occupational meme by now (if not, follow these simple instructions: log onto Facebook, then scroll through your newsfeed until you see one. It should take about 37 seconds). Now there's one for political operatives -- any delay was caused by furious internal disagreements about how to proceed, extensive polling and focus groups, and then a mishap in which an unpaid volunteer briefly misplaced all of the data. It's good for a chuckle, although it's wishful thinking to believe the public imagines political operatives and staffers to be like The West Wing. They've probably got a bleaker impression than that, and besides, the people who truly obsess over the Bartlett administration are typically either political operatives or political journalists.

Image: Facebook

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David A. Graham

David Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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