Lesson from the Sharron Angle Debacle: Don't Hire Your BFF

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Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and your best friends off your payroll. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should have been toast on election day, but the Senator held on thanks to his flawless campaign--as well as opponent Sharron Angle's disastrous one, Politico's Shira Toeplitz reports. Toeplitz spoke to several Republican operatives who described--on the record, no less--the campaign as grossly incompetent, thanks in large part to manager Terry Campbell and Angle's steadfast loyalty to him.

Campbell had known Angle for ten years, and when he wasn't running her campaign from his home in Missouri (?!), he slept at Angle's house. That made it impossible for advisers to step in and pry them apart, even as donors begged Angle to fire him. The resulting missteps were comical: the campaign almost canceled an event with John McCain (while McCain was mid-air, of course) because Tea Partiers were calling Angle, crying that McCain was too moderate. Who told them to call? Campbell.

Campbell was seemingly unaware of much of what was going on in the campaign--what ads were airing, how much money they had. "In one instance of his haphazard engagement," Toeplitz reports, "Campbell called the National Republican Senatorial Committee to inquire if it had heard anything about the president coming to the state and attacking Angle — two days after President Barack Obama visited Nevada to campaign for Reid..." One GOP adviser said, "If they were filming a sequel to the movie 'Dumb and Dumber,' Terry Campbell would have a feature role."

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