The emergence of the ‘informal advisor’ in Washington politics 

From This Town, by Mark Leibovich, pg 284. This is another example of a key theme of the book, albeit one explored in an exclusively gossipy way: the money to be made through working at the boundaries between institutional  spheres, occasionally crossing them strategically and playing off this connection.

It’s a nice arrangement, though, the “informal adviser” gig. It helps both candidate and Usual Suspect. Being publicly linked to Romney can impress Black’s clients—an important currency in This Town (informal advisers are almost never paid real currency by the campaigns, and usually don’t need the money anyway). In return, they can vouch for the candidate within the embattled but still potent Republican establishment in Washington, providing a link to donors, endorsers, and various useful eggheads.