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April 18, 2012

Girls on the Bus

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SEEMA MEHTA, 35, Los Angeles Times
Follow her: @LATSeema
On the road since: June 2011

Professional coup: Early in the campaign, I wrote an analysis of Michele Bachmann's speeches that showed the Minnesota congresswoman occasionally having difficulties with the facts—like saying there were 59,000 illegal immigrants who had come into the U.S. from countries that were state sponsors of terror. The real number: 663. That article kicked off a series of other journalists' fact-checks of Bachmann speeches.

Most memorable moment: I asked Newt Gingrich a question about his fundraising that he did not like, and he told me, in front of a bank of TV cameras, to "go home and think about why you would even ask that today." That was the day I gained the most Twitter followers in my career.

Life (and love) on the trail: I'm not going to lie—it's tough. I've been married for five years. It's vital to be with someone who respects your ambitions. And, while I am by no means perfect at this, it's important to remember that your partner is at home dealing with the bills and the cats and making sure the house doesn't fall apart, so you need to make time to listen to what's going on in his life.

What I've learned: Be assertive, but learn from your colleagues who have been doing this a lot longer than you have. It's not always the loudest voice in the room or on the bus who knows the most.


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