Monday, May 19, 2008

Former Hillary Campaign Chair
To Join Obama Team !

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s former campaign manager and confidante, Patti Solis Doyle, and Sen. Barack Obama’s top adviser have informally discussed the former Clintonite’s going to work for the Obama campaign in the general election. Solis Doyle’s possible hiring is a major breach not just in Clinton’s campaign but in the political universe known as “Hillaryland,” a term Solis Doyle reportedly coined after joining the Clintons in 1991 as the first lady's personal scheduler. She was forced out of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in February amid internal criticism about her spending practices and preparation for upcoming contests. “I’ve talked to Patti throughout. I know that she wants to be helpful in a general election campaign, and we appreciate that,” Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod told Politico, declining directly to answer the question of whether he and Solis Doyle had discussed her working for the campaign. Other Democrats familiar with their conversations said there had been informal discussions of Solis Doyle going to work for Obama after the primary formally draws to a close. “If Barack Obama’s the nominee, I’ll do everything I can to get him elected,” Solis Doyle told Politico. Solis Doyle, a Chicago native whose brother is an alderman there, has known Axelrod even longer than she’s known the Clintons. Both said they’d talked frequently through the course of the campaign. Solis Doyle said there had been “no real conversations” about a job, but didn’t deny the subject had been broached. Campaigns often draw from one another’s staff after a primary ends, a move driven both by the greater demands of a general election and by the desire to unite the party.

“I expect a lot of people from the losing campaign to go to the winning campaign, and I think that’s a good idea — it’s part of the process of healing,” said Bob Shrum, who was a key adviser to John Kerry in 2004. “The way the Obama campaign runs, I think people will be integrated fairly easily.” What’s notable about the suggestion that Solis Doyle could join Obama’s campaign is how early it comes. Clinton declared Monday that the campaign is “nowhere near over” and her loyal staff and supporters continue to reject the widespread assumption that her campaign has no chance of winning. That Solis Doyle is considering a job suggests otherwise.

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