Nuts & Bolts: Inside Democratic Campaigns—Kitchen cabinets and campaign staff

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D-I-Y’ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week, we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide.

As campaigns assemble, they often break into multiple components. Larger campaigns and all federal campaigns will have paid staff as well as volunteers. But whether you have a lot of paid staff or campaign workers, almost every campaign assembles what we call a “kitchen cabinet” a group of advisors who meet and talk with a candidate frequently that are unpaid advisors. This group often includes party elders, former elected, and yes, the significant other or spouse of the candidate who is running.

Kitchen cabinets can be a great resource for your campaign, or a stumbling block that is difficult to get past. How, exactly, do you handle a kitchen cabinet?