If you're a campaign junkie, you're sure to know a bit about Joe Trippi, James Carville, and Donna Brazille. Now famous for being successful political operators, they once put in their dues working other jobs or in junior-level campaign positions. If you want to dig into their histories, just visit Wikipedia or read one of their books, but don't expect to find original documentation of their early campaign work. That's because campaigns don't publish staff directories, and neither do the DNC nor the RNC.
While that may not be a problem for the James Carvilles of the world - or the handful of other elite consultants and political celebrities who are widely known for their work - it is an issue for the entry, junior, and even some senior-level staffers. And when trying to tell the story of the previous months, reporters are often unable to find the people who know the story best - the staffers who were actually on the ground and behind the scenes, and not playing spokesperson to CNN.
At HuffPost"s OffTheBus we've got a solution - The OffTheBus Field Guide. There you'll find lists of the presidential campaign staffers broken down by office location and campaign. Anyone can login in to the Guide and add in information to the staffers' bios, including the jobs they've had before and what projects they're working on now.
If you're a campaign staffer, pre-empt the press and fill out your bio. Tell the public - and political junkies - who you are, where you come from, and what you've worked on before. If you don't have time to create a login, you can email us info at email@example.com and put "Field Guide Info" in the subject line.
Our newly minted Field Guide team is also researching the staffers, and will update the Guide with data from the 3rd quarter FEC reports. The information in the wiki comes from the 2nd quarter FEC reports, so if you don't find something that should be there, please add it.