The political ambush is difficult to pull off. Betrayal is always a risk (the opposing party may serve as your public adversary, but one’s personal enemies are more likely to be sharing a beer with you). Campaign managers must tread carefully. Finance disclosure reports often deposit a trail of breadcrumbs leading back to dirty trick conspirators, while what looks like an undefended vulnerability can prove a trap. Defensive strategy prioritizes ‘inoculation’: the pre-emptive copping to DUIs, restraining orders, rehab residencies, unpaid child support payments and bankruptcies. With the advent of the Internet, there are few skeletons that remain reliably stuffed into a candidate’s closet. Opposition research can locate your prom date, former spouses, disgruntled co-workers, boot camp buddies and credit scores.