The candidates running for president are only the most visible parts of huge organizations mobilizing to boost them to the White House. Underneath them, key staff and advisers are implementing the strategy that could lead to victory next November.
National Journal Hotline's new Staffer Tracker traces the construction of those campaigns. The Tracker is an interactive encyclopedia of the people working for 2016 candidates and where they've been before. The aides from previous presidential campaigns have spread out across the spectrum of candidates seeking the presidency in 2016. The connections between 20 White House hopefuls and the campaigns that came before them are everywhere.
For example, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has a lock on former staffers for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's 2008 bid. Ron Paul's former allies have gone to work for his son, Rand Paul. And so-called "establishment" candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have indeed pulled from the many alumni of Mitt Romney's and George W. Bush's presidential runs. Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain share more than ideology: The South Carolina senator has drawn from the talents of many who worked on McCain's 2000 and 2008 campaigns.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has brought in many who have worked for her 2008 foe Barack Obama this time around, as well as retaining many people who worked on her original campaign that year.
Clinton's not the only candidate to draw from people who have helped her in the past. Many candidates, including former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former Govs. Rick Perry of Texas and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, are all working with people who have aided their Senate, gubernatorial, and even presidential campaigns of years past. And for those who haven't launched yet, like Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio, we've collected the names of their key people and the outside groups housing them now.
Highlights of staffers' previous work for major candidates in prior elections were collected from official bios, LinkedIn, recent press reports, and our own reporting. For corrections, additions, and updates, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Zach Cohen is a web producer for National Journal Hotline. Before joining National Journal in 2014, he interned at The Washington Post, Time Magazine, USA Today and PBS MediaShift and wrote about politics and government for New Voices. Zach was born and raised in New Jersey and got his bachelor's degree in international relations from American University, where he served as editor-in-chief of The Eagle, the school newspaper.