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Farley file

A “Farley file” is a log kept by politicians on the people they have met previously.

It’s named for James A. Farley, who was Franklin Roosevelt’s campaign manager and later became chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Farley kept a file on anyone Roosevelt met allowing him to “remember” key personal details such as the name of their spouse and children or anything useful which might have come out of earlier meetings.

The political effect of “remembering” this information was both powerful and intimate.

These types of files are now commonly kept by politicians, though they typically are in electronic form today.

A Farley file could also be used on the campaign trail in canvassing voters.

Use of “Farley file” in a sentence

  • The politician used the Farley file to keep track of the names and contact information of the constituents she met on the campaign trail.
  • The campaign manager reviewed the Farley file to identify potential supporters and plan outreach efforts.
  • The Farley file was used to compile a list of attendees at the candidate’s campaign events, to be used for future fundraising efforts.