February 10th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton shuffles campaign team

Patti Solis Doyle will now serve as senior adviser.
Patti Solis Doyle will now serve as senior adviser.

(CNN) - Former Hillary Clinton chief of staff Maggie Williams will take over as campaign manager, Clinton staffers were told today. Current campaign manager and longtime friend Patti Solis Doyle will assume the role of senior adviser.

The switch has been rumored for more than a month – ever since Election Day in New Hampshire, when it was revealed that Williams would be joining the campaign in the wake of Clinton’s loss in the Iowa caucuses. At the time, Solis Doyle was urged to remain on board.

"I have been proud to manage this campaign, and prouder still to call Hillary my friend for more than sixteen years. I know that she will make a great president," Solis Doyle said in an e-mail to campaign staffers.

She added that the "the longest presidential campaign in the history of our nation" had "required enormous sacrifices from all of us and our families."

"...Maggie [Williams] is a remarkable person and I am confident that she will do a fabulous job."

A source close to Hillary Clinton tells CNN that Solis Doyle’s job had been at risk since Clinton's Iowa loss. Clinton's poor performance there coincided with the realization that the campaign had been running out of money – a fact which had not been related to the New York senator until then.

Still, Clinton stuck with Solis Doyle out of loyalty, says this source.

"There was a lot of dissatisfaction with the ground operation. There was nobody in charge,” another source tells CNN, adding that Solis Doyle was starting to lose the respect of some senior advisers, who fretted that campaign's message from state to state was not clear.

Doyle was "notorious for not returning phone calls which was starting to upset superdelegates and surrogates," and the endorsement process became "messy," says a source.

The New Hampshire win postponed the decision, but Solis Doyle failed to capitalize on the additional time. Maggie Williams began to take on many of the duties of campaign manager, and the lines of authority blurred.

The senior team was going to Williams for guidance, while the junior team was reporting to Doyle.

Insiders describe Doyle and Williams as close friends of Hillary Clinton. One said that "there didn't need to be a dual layer hostile environment - they just needed to sort it out."

Some in the campaign put a positive spin on the situation, saying that the move was anti-climactic – since Williams had effectively been in control for weeks – and would provide much-needed clarification. Clinton made the decision herself, said several sources, adding that there are not likely to be any hard feelings.

This week, Maggie Williams said she could not work with Solis Doyle, the source adds. It is unclear who, if anyone, might exit next: some in the campaign have said they would leave if Solis Doyle did.

In a statement released by her campaign Hillary Clinton said "I look forward to [Solis Doyle's] continued advice in the months ahead.

"Patti and I have worked with Maggie Williams for more than a decade. I am lucky to have Maggie on board and I know she will lead our campaign with great skill towards the nomination."Williams served as Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff during Bill Clinton’s first term.

(updated 6:20 p.m. ET with additional reporting)

–CNN's Jessica Yellin, Suzanne Malveaux and Sasha Johnson


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. s.positive

    Changing guards at mid battle, don't think this is good folks...

    February 10, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. vey

    so!!!!!!!!

    February 10, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. vey

    its not going to help now,sorry go somewhere and cry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    February 10, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Sick of awaiting moderation

    Another sign that she is on her way out.

    February 10, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Matpez

    Another sign of weakness by the Clinton campaign!

    February 10, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Steve

    The ship is sinking.

    February 10, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Rex

    The "Panic Button" has been officially pushed.

    February 10, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. chris

    Houston...We have a problem!

    February 10, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Hope

    PLEEEEZ HELP!! The more I hear Hillary the more I think this is NOT the voice I want to hear for the next four years!!!

    February 10, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Aillyn

    Not surprising Clinton's having a lot of trouble with her campaign and she's losing in some very crucial places. I'm surprised she hasn't fired more people.

    February 10, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Sloane

    For all the Clintons "experience", is there something disturbing about their ability to manage campaign funds, pay campaign debt, manage their campaign staff and control their campaign message? If this is indicative of a Clinton III White House, the writing is on the wall.

    February 10, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Independent

    The problem is not management: it's the product.

    February 10, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. commonsense

    So it looks like the foundations of the Hillary House are starting to show their cracks.

    It's going to be a good week for Obama and a very good year of America!

    February 10, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. Rex

    Hillary is so desperate now that she is trying to get Edwards 26 delegates and his supporters. If Edwards sells out and endorses her it will be the biggest betrayel of the american people since Benedict Arnold.

    February 10, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. josh r.

    hillary's campaign is falling apart at the seams. when a major management shift like this it speaks to unseen stryfe.

    February 10, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Chuck Wilson

    Trouble in paradise. Solis Doyle has been Hillary's right hand for a long time. Whether she left on her own or was forced out, it shows some tremendous tension within the Hillary camp. I don't know if it's true, but one of the news channels claimed that she hadn't been paid since money became tight and just couldn't continue, but another said the pay suspensions only lasted a day.

    Obama just might be the nominee, and that might be the best thing.

    February 10, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. J. P. Acosta

    I am afraid they are doing adjustments a little too late.
    It is obvious to every well trained eye that Clinton is doing really bad. Just look at the numbers yesterday: there is nothing wrong to lose a state, say by 4 or 7 points. But yesterday Hillary was badly beaten:

    37 points behind in WA
    36 points behind in NE
    21 points behind in LA

    crushed in the Virgin islands.

    Emergency lights have been flashing non stop in Hillary camp!!

    February 10, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Donny

    This can only be perceived as a sign of weakness.

    It's almost over.

    February 10, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. CHERYL

    HILLARY KNOWS WHAT SHE IS DOING!!!!!!!!
    STILL LEADING! THE WORD OF THE DAY IS SUPER DELEGATES!!!!!!!!
    GO HILLARY 2008!!!!!!!!!

    February 10, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. Whatever..Clinton

    35 years of experience and judgement and she can't even make a good choice on a campaign manager. I can't wait to see what her Cabinet looks like.

    February 10, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. jake

    Just another sign of Hilary's growing weaknesses. 5 million $ loan, staffers going without pay, being down in the total delegate count, getting swept by significant margins yesterday

    February 10, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Jeff

    Who cares

    February 10, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. margaret - ohio

    This is very interesting.

    February 10, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. John

    Is this a sign of presure/tension as a result of Saturday loss? Go Obama

    February 10, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. George from Minneapolis

    Its not the campaign manager's fault. Hillary's main point is that she has more experience than Obama. When rational people realize that Obama has been an elected official longer than Hillary her campaign fizzles.

    Her campaign manager can not make her likeable, sincere and straightfoward.

    Hillary you will never be the President stop blaming others. Obama is just a better candidate.

    February 10, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
1 2 3