WASHINGTON (CNN) - The news of Patti Solis Doyle’s hire by Barack Obama is not being well-received by many of those close to the New York senator and by former members of her campaign team, according to a longtime adviser, a top campaign staffer and several major donors.
Doyle, long rumored to be in talks with the Obama team about a position on the Illinois senator’s presidential campaign, was officially named the chief of staff for Obama’s future vice presidential pick on Monday.
According to one longtime adviser, the move is being seen by many of those close to Clinton as a message she will not be Obama’s vice presidential pick.
An aide to Obama insists the hire should not be read as indication of who their choice will be.
(CNN)— Presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama’s general election plans continued to come into focus Monday, as his campaign announced more than a dozen key hires. Meanwhile, former Vice President Al Gore endorsed Obama after remaining neutral for the primary season. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley has your details on how Gore’s endorsement could help the Illinois senator, and more on Obama’s plans to visit Iraq before the November election.
Plus: The Democratic Party may not be able to throw the convention they’d hoped for in August. CNN’s Jim Acosta reports from Denver, Colorado on the party’s money troubles.
Meanwhile: presumptive Republican nominee John McCain worked to distance himself from a controversial Texas fund-raiser Monday, trying to shift the focus to economic woes. CNN’s Dana Bash has the details.
Finally: with an ongoing war in Iraq and an economy in trouble, President Bush’s approval ratings continue to drop. How will the last eight years affect John McCain and the Republicans in the fall? Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider has the latest poll findings on voter enthusiasm.
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(CNN) - After remaining neutral throughout the Democratic primary season, former Vice President Al Gore is officially backing Barack Obama's presidential run, and will appear with him at a Michigan campaign event Monday night.
"A few hours from now I will step on stage in Detroit, Michigan to announce my support for Senator Barack Obama," said the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee in a fundraising e-mail sent to supporters Monday. "From now through Election Day, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure he is elected President of the United States."
Former presidential candidate John Edwards also announced his decision to endorse Obama at a rally in the crucial fall swing state.
(CNN) – For only the second time in nearly three decades, there won’t be a Bush on the presidential ballot this November. But that absence may not be a permanent one, the current White House occupants hinted Sunday.
President Bush was asked by a SkyNews correspondent whether the end of his term marked the end of the Bush presidential dynasty that began with his father’s Oval Office tenure 20 years ago.
In response, Bush singled out his brother, who has often been mentioned as a possible Republican presidential contender. "Well, we've got another one out there who did a fabulous job as governor of Florida, and that's Jeb,” he said. “But you know, you better ask him whether or not he's thinking of running. But he'd be a great president."
There had been wide speculation in 2000 that Jeb Bush would enter the Republican primary race that was won by his brother.
During the SkyNews interview, first lady Laura Bush added that public service was an "unbelievable” life.
"One of the reasons George and his brother, Jeb, served in office is because they admired their father [Presient George H.W. Bush] so much," she said.
Asked whether that meant her husband was not “the last Bush," she responded: “Well, who knows. We'll see."
Image from an online photo album and fundraising appeal Hillary Clinton's campaign sent supporters Monday. "Together, you and I changed America forever. We touched so many lives over the course of this campaign, and I can't thank you enough for the support you showed me. I met so many wonderful people out on the trail, and I wanted to share some of those memories with you," wrote Clinton.
"I hope you'll take a moment to view our online album with some favorite photos from the campaign.
"Thank you so much - I'll be in touch soon."
Don’t bet on John McCain being the next president… that’s the message coming from several presidential scholars.
The Politico reports these historians paint a bleak picture for the Republican candidate. They also say Barack Obama has the best chance of any Democrat perhaps since FDR beat Herbert Hoover in 1932.
The historians say it should be “an overwhelming Democratic victory,” noting McCain is facing one of the worst political environments for the party in power since World War II.
There’s also this: only twice in the 20th century did the candidate from the same party as a two-term president go on to win the White House. The last time was in 1988, when President Bush’s father replaced Ronald Reagan… but Reagan was twice as popular as the current president is now.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
(CNN) – The famous “Yes We Can” video that spliced together clips of Barack Obama’s New Hampshire primary night speech and set it to music with celebrities singing along has won an Emmy award.
Produced by Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am, the video won in the first time "New Approaches in Daytime Entertainment” category that “recognizes innovative production techniques and the use of media enhancement to support content.”
The video became an internet sensation when it first appeared shortly before Super Tuesday. Among the many celebrities who lent their voices to t project, which was filmed in black and white, are John Legend, Scarlett Johansson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Obama's campaign often plays the video before he takes the stage at rallies.
(CNN) – John McCain on Monday defended the decision to postpone and move a fundraiser that was initially to be hosted by Clayton ‘Claytie’ Williams, a Texas oilman who joked about rape when running for governor in 1990.
“My people were not aware of the statement that he made 16 or 18 years ago,” McCain told CNN’s Dana Bash. “So when we found out that this was planned there we said ‘Nope, we’ll reschedule it and do it some place else,’ and I understand that he’s not attending. That’s pretty much the sum of it all.”
McCain added that the campaign will keep the $300,000 Williams has reportedly raised for him, arguing, “the people who contributed are supporters of mine, not supporters of his.”
He did not answer how he thought this might affect his outreach to women.
“The only thing more insulting than John McCain’s willingness to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash raised by Claytie Williams is his attempt to get away with it by simply changing the venue of his fundraiser,” an Obama spokesman e-mailed Monday morning. “It’s clear that John McCain is more concerned with dealing with a ‘perception problem’ than in condemning these despicable remarks or in living up to the straight talk reputation he brags about."
Williams had compared rape to the weather, saying, “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.” He later apologized.
(CNN) - The battle for the swing state of Nevada – which has voted for every winning president except Jimmy Carter in 1976 – is a draw in a new poll that shows Barack Obama and John McCain in a statistical tie.
McCain – a senator from neighboring Arizona – would receive 44 percent of the vote if the election were held today, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The survey finds that Obama would pull in 42 percent, a difference within the survey’s four point margin of error. Fourteen percent of likely voters remain undecided
The survey suggests that adding Clinton to the ticket could cost Obama here: 28 percent of those polled said it would make them less likely to back the Illinois senator, compared with the 19 percent who said it would make them more likely to support him. Roughly half of those polled said it would have no impact on their decision.
One out of four undecided voters said adding Clinton to the ticket would make them more likely to support Obama – but 38 percent said it would make them less likely to vote for him.
The poll of 625 likely voters was conducted June 9-11.
(CNN) - Barack Obama’s campaign has filled out its general election roster with a few familiar faces – including Hillary Clinton’s embattled former campaign manager.
Patti Solis Doyle had faced criticism from Clinton loyalists over her handling of the campaign’s finances and strategy. She exited the top spot shortly after the New York senator’s disappointing showing in the February 5 Super Tuesday contests, and according to sources close to Clinton, the two have not spoken since. She will serve as chief of staff for Obama’s yet-unnamed running mate.
Another major figure from a former rival’s campaign will also take on a key role: Jen O’Malley Dillon, who served as Iowa State Director for former Democratic candidate John Edwards, will serve as Battleground States Director.
Stephanie Cutter, who served as John Kerry’s spokeswoman during his presidential run, will serve as senior adviser to the campaign and Michelle Obama’s chief of staff.
Jim Messina, Chief of Staff for Senator Max Baucus, will take the same position in Obama’s campaign.
UPDATE: Some Clinton aides, including a longtime adviser and a top campaign staffer, told CNN's Jessica Yellin Monday that the news of Solis Doyle’s hire is not being well-received by many of those close to the New York senator and by former members of her campaign team. Many in that group became "angry and furious with her" over the campaign’s performance early in the primary season, and share a widespread belief she "grossly mismanaged our campaign."
"[T]here was no modicum of planning, none of the backup plan that would be in place at any smart campaign in the event we'd lose Iowa, no planning after Super Tuesday," said one former aide. Other former Clinton advisers say there is plenty of blame to go around.
(Full list from the Obama campaign after the jump)