Gabriel Debenedetti

As the GOP presidential nominating process begins to take shape, behind each candidate there emerges a cadre of consultants, managers, and strategists, some more prominent than others. And while we might not know for sure what kind of campaign each candidate plans to wage, we know a thing or two about the history of their more famous staffers.

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Over the past week, the American polity has been exposed to much more of Representative Anthony Weiner than it would prefer to see. But while the Congressman’s inappropriate interactions with women on Twitter have been endlessly scrutinized, at least one major question has yet to be sufficiently answered: Is he a criminal? Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams and Commentary’s Alana Goodman have written about how Weiner’s actions could constitute a violation of sexual harassment law. If that were the case, he could presumably soon find himself in legal trouble.

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The GOP nominating process has barely begun, but with an unfocused field and a long hill to climb, the barbs are already flying. As the presumptive frontrunner, Mitt Romney has taken most of the heat. But Palin—not even a nominee yet—has dodged her share of insults as well. TNR brings you some amusing excerpts from the expanding array of political playground fights. Everybody beats up Romney. The frontrunner’s biggest political liability isn’t his religion: That’s old news.

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