Love on the 2012 Battlefield

Trash duties matter much more when your husband is campaigning to put you out of a job

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Just like the Civil War and the Montague-Caputlet feud, the 2012 Republican primary fight is tearing lovers apart. (Okay, maybe just one set of lovers that we know of, but still.) Ray Sullivan is Rick Perry's communications director. His wife, Leslie Sullivan, is a fundraiser for Mitt Romney. The Texas Tribune's Reeve Hamilton reports that Leslie left Perry's staff in March of 2010, "after being assured that the governor had no intention of running for president," and signed on with the Romney team. Now she and her husband are working for the Republican primary race's main rivals. We can only imagine what hardships the Sullivans will face in the coming months (dishwashing as proxy war, probably).
To offer the campaign-crossed lovers some unsolicited advice, Hamilton consulted the foremost expert on love on the presidential battlefield: Mary Matalin. Matalin worked for then-President George H.W. Bush on the 1992 campaign; her future husband, James Carville, worked for Bill Clinton, eventually helping to put her out of a job. They married in 1993.
Matalin has a few suggestions:
  • "Campaigns are too busy and exhausting and all encompassing to have much time to devote to personal feelings."
  • "Never never NEVER" talk about work. "If you cannot share nothing, then quit."
  • Don't cave: "But I am confident -- truly -- they will be loyal to their respective candidates. Each understands that of the other and would disrespect any lapses ... which is not to say each won't try...."
  • Because girls rule: "In that case, I put my $$ on the gal. We have the secret weapon!"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.