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Today’s Issue:

  • Why write a political profile? “Our job isn’t necessarily to make the case for or against these profile subjects,” The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins says. “It's to help readers just understand them.”
  • In today’s edition of The Masthead, McKay and Elaina Plott, both prolific profile writers, interview each other about their craft.
  • One secret to a great profile: An interesting character isn’t enough. A great profile needs to explore a big idea, too. Read on for more.

“A Complicated, Fully Drawn Portrait”

In their quest to illuminate the characters of Washington, McKay Coppins and Elaina Plott have visited the zoo with Newt Gingrich, dined with Heidi Cruz in her Houston house, raced Louise Linton at SoulCycle, and spent an afternoon in Stephen Miller’s West Wing office. Along the way, the two have spent a lot of time talking to each other about the practice of profiling.

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