June 16th, 2008
07:12 PM ET
10 years ago

Unhappiness in Clinton camp over Obama hire

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.

The official reaction from the Clinton camp contained no criticism of the the hire. “Patti will be an asset and good addition to the Obama campaign,” said campaign spokesman Mo Eleithee. “After nearly two decades in political life, she brings with her the ability to tap an extensive network that will be a huge asset to Senator Obama. As Senator Clinton has said, we’re all going to do our part to help elect Senator Obama as the next President of the United States.”

But many of those close to Clinton remain "angry and furious with [Doyle]" over the campaign’s performance early in the primary season, and share a widespread belief she "grossly mismanaged our campaign," according to one former staffer.

"[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. Others say there is plenty of blame to go around.

A top Democrat close to Solis Doyle says Solis Doyle would not have accepted the job if she believed Senator Clinton would be Obama's choice for vice president.

soundoff (440 Responses)
  1. Rich

    So many Republicans in Democratic clothing on here. PUMA seems to be a Swift boat group and lead by a "switched to" Republican. I think that means he switched from Republican to Democrat to Republican to try and play on the confusion in the Hillary camp.

    Any Real American Democrat that can support McCain isn't a real American Democrat. It just isn't possible. What that means is they are really just caught up in the Hillary swirl and Operation Chaos to think she had a chance. She would be a good candidate if Obama hadn't outcampaigned her in the first few primaries and she had a campaign team that was competent. She got beat. Move on.

    Obama vs McCain is a contrast in young vs old, change vs the old way, leadership vs politics. If you liked Bush, you'll love McCain.

    June 17, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  2. John Smith

    This makes no sense whatsoever.

    If Hillary cannot beat this young senator, Obama, how would she have been able to run a good campaign against McCain?

    Hillary, with her 18 million votes and $109million,
    –has the worst baggage than any democrat that has ever ran for the presidency,
    –has the highest negative ratings
    –lacks the clear judgment in most instances when needed the most!

    It has always been my understanding that the "primaries" are not about the individual candidate, but about the party.

    For the FIRST time in my adult life (now 50 years plus), I have never seen a candidate that has brought so much divisiveness to a party than Hillary. Is this the way Hillary would have governed?

    June 17, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  3. David Newport, OR

    You have probably never had 2 such contrasting options. Only 1 of these will win. Choose the 1 that will hep your family out the most. Simple.

    June 17, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  4. Tell the truth

    Why is everyone so upset about this. Obama has the right to hire are fired who ever he wants. Clintion has the same right. Your company has the same rights. You have the same rights. Did they sign a contract to states" you can not work for another person" I guess not. Please stop. For the PUMA or anybody else that does not like Obama so what. There are plenty of people that like him and will vote for him. Some white,black,brown,rich,poor,men,women,gay,straight,etc. If you like his views the vote for hime. If you hate his view the do not vote for him. Simple.

    June 17, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  5. Ana

    If Obama was considering Clinton for VP why would he make this choice? Hmm. The John guy doing the VP search was involved in a scandal, which I am sure the Obama camp was aware of. I sure hope he does right by Hilliary.

    June 17, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  6. Norman From OH

    I know you Obama fans love to bash Clinton, but lets face it, you need her. If you continue to take shots at her, you will lose many of her supporters come November. Do yourself a favor and keep your mouth shut.

    June 17, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  7. Ellie in Aurora, CO

    I hope that the majority of these "vote for McCain" "loyal to Hillary" comments are from Republican trolls. I would hate to think that anyone would be this nutty over one person who was hired. Big deal – a VP chief of staff! Get over it, for heaven's sake. This is just silly, petty bickering. Let's talk real issues for once. CNN – stop encouraging this nonsense with your ridiculous postings.

    June 17, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  8. akadoug

    Thank God youbrainless Democrats are at it again...maybe us GOP'ers still have a chance to steal this election!! Ha, ha!! Welcome all you Clinton supporters we'll be happy to take your vote...just don't expect us to enact any of Clinton's crappy policies! But we'll gladly take your help in stealing this election!

    It's McCain all the way to the White House baby!!

    June 17, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  9. Ricky Faella

    I believe Obama has worked hard to enlighten Americans about a
    lot of things. I for one am convinced of his honesty, and his ability
    to be our foremost leader. After all the lies and deceptions we as
    citizens of this great country have been subjected to over the last
    eight years WE all need the changes Mr Obama and his staff will
    bring. For all our sakes give the man a chance, Please.
    I believe we have the makings of another FDR. Thank God.

    June 17, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  10. lon

    You people really scare me with the way alot of you think.

    June 17, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  11. Crush Rush

    Obama will win by a landslide.Only the media and their polls keep it close to make more money.He is leo, the lion,a born leader,fearless and will put our enemies in their place.

    June 17, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  12. Susan B.

    Before Iowa, Ms. Doyle's critics contended she didn't have the experience necessary to be the person in charge of a presidential campaign.

    After Iowa, her critics contended that she didn't have the strong leadership skills necessary to manage the strong personalities of senior campaign advisors.

    After Super Tuesday, her critics contended she had failed to anticipate, and hence prepare for, a protracted campaign.

    With the benefit of hindsight, I hope we can all agree those criticisms were justified.

    But I don't understand how any of this is relevant to her qualifications as Chief of Staff or the Vice President. According to all reports, she is terrific at organizing an office of that size, functioning not as a leader with a public face, but as a loyal facilitator working unseen in the background. None of her failures as head of Senator Clinton's campaign give one any reason to think otherwise.

    Remember, she has eight years of experience in that role and her performance was so extraordinarily that the Vice President she served selected her–solely on that basis and moreover with great confidence–for a position few thought she was qualified to handle.

    So let's take the question of her competence for THIS position off the table. A reporter might be the best at her job and yet struggle once promoted to editor, but that doesn't mean she wouldn't do a great job if she returned to her previous position as a reporter.

    Whatever one thinks of his motivations and whatever the fallout turns out to be, the obvious truth seems to be that Senator Obama selected the best person for the job.

    June 17, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  13. bk

    Obama supporters should be asking themselves why Obama keeps running from debates. Did it not seem strange to you that he would agree to a debate on July 4th when nobody would be watching. Without a prepared speech or telepromter everyone knows he is just preaching. George Bush lost every debate and looked like an idiot and people still voted for him and now they are ready to make the same mistake again. The man does not have a clue about foreign policy or the economy. His health care plan will not work, because it still leaves us paying for those who don't get it. The facts are 20% of the people that don't have health care make over $75,000 a year.

    June 17, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  14. Sharon in Oakland, CA

    ...before this election year, I did not know Americans couldbe so silly. I think itis really stupid that so many uninformed people feel they are qualified to make decisions about matters that they really don't know anything about. The conversations and the articles are ridiculous. I believe if Mr. Obama was anybody than who he is, this would be a non-issue, folks would shut up and let the man do his job his way. Mr. Obama is not a dumb person, he is quite capable of "handling" his business. He does not need people second guessing how he thinks, what he does or doesn't do. BACK OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    VOTE 08/12

    June 17, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  15. Dollar Bill

    I have a few things to say to the republicians out there, 4000+ amer deaths in Iraq, our economy is almost at a stand still, people are losing there jobs and homes at a record pace, gas prices are through the roof, our present admistration is null and void, Sen McCain can talk about nothing but the war, the man still has a hard-on from the Vietnam War, so with all that how can you republicians critical of anything Sen Obama is trying to accomplish. At least he realizes that it's going to take the help of all americians to turn our country around and to get it headed in the right direction.

    June 17, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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