Meet The Campaign Widows


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Having a spouse who's a campaign staffer can hit a marriage hard.

A whole informal "campaign widows club" is out there. On January's Iowa Caucus night, Lisa Spies of Washington, DC hosted a "Returns Dinner" for five spouses of campaign staffers. Her husband of four years couldn’t attend; he’s living in Boston, working as Mitt Romney's CFO and counsel. Though Spies and her husband try to meet when they can—they spent New Year's Eve in Boston, a block from campaign headquarters—the day-to-day is living alone. "I've become close to my cat," she says. Spies and her husband went to New Hampshire for the primary, but she was with donors, he was with campaign staff. Spies herself is a successful political fundraiser and volunteers as the DC chairwoman for "Women for Mitt." But even this involvement doesn’t keep her from being a campaign widow.

Jim Doyle stopped visiting political websites. The ups and downs of campaign news just got to be too much, making or breaking his days—but not because he’s a campaign staffer. His wife is Patti Solis Doyle, campaign manager for Hillary Clinton. For the past year, this devoted dad has organized play dates, made doctors appointments, and done bedtime for their kids, ages 5 and 9. And he's no stay-at-home dad; he has a full-time job of his own! Yet, the Doyles have implemented strategies to make campaign season work for their family, like holding Friday movie nights at home or bringing the kids to rallies to experience the excitement. Their fourth-grade daughter seems to have caught the spirit—a poster in her bedroom reads "When Women Vote, Women Win!"