Former Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle is joining the Obama team, making it the “first big hire” from the Clinton campaign. I suspect we’ll see a few more Clinton staffers make their way over to the Obama campaign as the Obama team ramps up for the general election. In ’04, if I am not mistaken, staffers from Dean, Edwards and Clark all joined the Kerry campaign in various capacities.
Patti Solis Doyle will “join Mr. Obama’s campaign as the chief of staff to the vice presidential candidate – whoever he (or she) will be, campaign officials said.” Hmmm…. Could that mean HRC will be getting the nod?
Adam Nagourney attempts some tea leaf reading on the hire, trying to discern whether “Mr. Obama is really considering Mrs. Clinton for the No. 2 position, and wants to have an ally of her in place to ease the way? Perhaps.”
Or perhaps not. More likely, the Obama campaign was looking for a high-profile spot to put Ms. Doyle, given her previous position, and most of the major roles in Mr. Obama’s campaign are filled.
Ms. Doyle’s hire is the latest sign of the two fields in the Democratic Party attempting to come together. She is also – not incidentally – a Hispanic woman, making her a member of two demographics that Mr. Obama has been making a particular effort to appeal to.
Word has it also that the Obama campaign will also be hiring “Stephanie Cutter, a longtime Democratic strategist who worked as Senator John Kerry’s communications director in 2004, as chief of staff to Mrs. Obama.”
Ms. Cutter is scheduled to begin soon, with the first task of re-crafting the image of Mrs. Obama, who has come under intense criticism by Republicans and even some Democratic rivals. She also will lead a war room to fight attacks against Mrs. Obama.
Previous to working for the Kerry campaign, Cutter was Communications Director for Senator Ted Kennedy.
Interestingly Steve Benen of the Carpetbagger Report sees the hiring of Patti Doyle Solis by the Obama camp as an indication that the “likelihood of an Obama/Clinton ticket is more remote,” based on speculation from Ben Smith on Politico. I disagree on two counts.
One: Patti Doyle Solis’ former executive assistant for several years is credited with starting the VoteBoth effort. The connection could be a fluke as founder “Parkhomenko says that the idea was his own.” Two: My take on Doyle Solis leaving the Clinton campaign was that it was a decision signaling time for a changing of the guard within the campaign, similar to when Jim Jordan left the Kerry campaign in the fall of ’03.
Regardless, time will tell what it all means. Stay tuned…