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Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

“Asking politicians to put their ego aside for the good of the party is a lot like asking a thief not to steal,” Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist.

“It’s not enough just to have the source code for something like Pac-Man. You want to also be able to play Pac-Man,”Doug Reside, who works to preserve historic theater lighting design.

“I want to endorse early so I can say, ‘I was there first’—the political version of being a hipster,” Kevin Zollman, who studies game theory, on the strategy behind political endorsements.

(Previous quotes from our sources here)