The Life of a Political Operative, Explained

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

Presented by

David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers political and global news. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Politics

Just In