June 16th, 2008
01:05 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama campaign rounds out general election staff

(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.

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)

New roles announced today:

Constituency Director: Brian Bond – formerly LGBT Outreach Director at the DNC
National Field Director: Jon Carson – formerly Obama for America Voter Contact Director
Senior Advisor to the Campaign and Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama: Stephanie Cutter
Industrial States Regional Director: Paul Diogardi – formerly Political Director for the Democratic Governor’s Association.
Battleground States Director: Jen O’Malley Dillon – formerly Iowa State Director for John Edwards for President
Chief of Staff to the Vice Presidential Nominee: Patti Solis Doyle
Latino Vote Director: Temo Figueroa – formerly Obama for America National Field Director
First Americans Vote Director: Wizipan Garriott
Northeast Regtional Director: Eureka Gilkey – formerly Obama for America Deputy Political Director
50-State Voter Registration Director: Jason Green – formerly Obama for America political and field staff
Campaign Chief of Staff: Jim Messina – formerly Chief of Staff to Senator Max Baucus
LGBT Vote Director: Dave Noble – formerly of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
West Regional Director: Matt Rodriguez – formerly Obama for America New Hampshire State Director
Senior Advisor: Michael Strautmanis
African American Vote Director: Rick Wade

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. Chuks

    Garbage In- Garbage Out, you don't blame a tool for how you use it you blame yourself. Now watch and see how the Obama camp will use Patti Doyle effectively and its a chance for her to shore up her resume as a member of the winning team.

    And read between the lines, first it was Caroline Kennedy and now Patti Doyle.... Obama is kind enough to help hillary supporters simply digest the shock of not naming her VP by giving you all the drip drip style.

    June 16, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Linda Tinjum

    The fact that "[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," is a result of the judgments/decisions made by Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was the candidate, and this was her campaign. And the first thing she needs to take responsibility for is who she hired and for what. So, it was Hillary Clinton who hired Patti Solis Doyle as campaign manager, when it would have probably been better to have hired her to do something else.

    She was confident that with her name, money, organization, and institutional support that her "big state" strategy would make her the presumptive nominee by Feb. 5. Therefore, she thought she could run as basically an incumbent in a general election campaign, with the primaries/caucuses and her opponents as something that had to be put up with and not to be taken too seriously. She looked at the map as a general election map instead of a primary map. Therefore, there was no need to bother with small states, caucus states, red presidential states. Since it would all be over by Feb. 5, there was no need to plan beyond with either organization or money. And so just like in her 2006 Senate re-election campaign, extravagance was the name of the game – something that many big donors to her Senate re-election campaign were more than a little upset about. After all, she had made the pitch to give big to that campaign because it was the seed money for her presidential run, and since she had no more than token opposition, they expected her to have a lot more than $10 million left after having raised $51 million.

    There was no need to worry about the Florida and Michigan delegations being stripped of all their delegates, since she would be the nominee with an overwhelming number of delegates and they'd get seated. There was no need to worry about her pledge to not just not campaign in these states but also to NOT PARTICIPATE in the elections in these states – and she equated choosing to leave your name on the Michigan ballot as choosing to participate, so she didn't live up to her pledge in Michigan.

    As I said, this was Hillary Clinton's campaign and while any number of people may have made suggestions, proposals, etc., and in the end she was the one who decided which suggestions, proposals, strategies to accept or reject. She's the one who now has to accept responsibility for her judgments/decisions, and her supporters should expect her to do the same and put an end to all this finger pointing at everyone but her.

    June 16, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Republicans have a winning ticket on the trail. CARLY FIORINA for Hillary. Republicans have to let Carly out early if they can, to explain how the economy will pick up under the McCain adminstration. And why the ECONOMY is so important after any war. In return McCain should explain to the American people why the peace in IRAQ after the elections is crucial and the RIGHT candidate in the WHITE HOUSE will determine the outcome . I think it is crucial for the people to understand that US has a crucial role in deciding the oil prices in the coming elections. And what a better time to tell the people on the 4th of July guys. Like the late Tim Russert would tell his staff..."Go get em".

    June 16, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Romulus, Michigan

    Some of these foul personal attacks on both candidates are from people who just want to rattle you. I would not worry about it or even respond to those attacks. If you have something to say that you think in relevant to the topic, continues to send your e-mail. We are too smart to fall for that agitation.

    June 16, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Jay

    The addition of Patti Solis Doyle as the Vice President nominee's Chief of Staff, before that person is even named, is a clear indicator that it will not be Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately this means not only will Obama not be getting potentially millions of votes from Hillary Democrats, Democratic candidates across the nation will lose the battle for contested Republican seats in Congress - such as Oregon Senator Gordon Smith.

    Patti Solis Doyle will be forever known as the cause of the demise of not only Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, but of the swing of the Senate to the Democrats.

    The appointment of Patti Solis Doyle to this position in the Obama campaign proves Obama is simply not ready to lead our party, nor our country.

    The Democrats have lost my vote this November.

    June 16, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Pat in Cali

    to Andy Y,NY

    Find a pro McCain blog and go be sick over there. Oh, you can't find a pro McCain blog. I guess you'll have to be sick of us Obama supporters.

    June 16, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. California Dem

    I don't think Obama should have recruited those who have failed in Hilary's campaign. I'm not too impressed with his line-up. He should consider creating another map. And I don't think this roster of candidates can embrace his policy of CHANGE.

    June 16, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Aliou FL

    I can believe anyone is going to vote for the same old bulls bushes that mcSame represents.

    Give me a break: don't you feel the pain?

    June 16, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. James, Redlands, CA

    Anyone who thinks Doyle made decisions for months with no review or approval from Clinton is delusional. And if Clinton actually did allow her to run the finances of the campaign so poorly, that says even less about Clinton's organizational skills.

    Once again Clinton supporters want to place the blame for her loss on other people doing something nefarious.

    Sad. But true.

    June 16, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. TESAP

    NO CLINTON.............. AL GORE........

    June 16, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Aliou FL

    Why would Obama load his campaign with the losing team's failed staffers?

    I hope none of the sabotage that went on in Hillary's campaign comes along with these people.

    Yet one has to acknowledge that working for Obama is different from working for Hillary: A huge difference.

    While clintons are manipulative and condescending at times, the Obamas are good natured people.

    I am not here insulting hillary. I am just saying their styles in approaching people.

    June 16, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. Aliou FL for Obama

    Still for hill,

    You forget why you voted hill?

    Because of her policies and bc she is a dem?

    Well, I would have voted for her in the general election if she won. However, she didn't win.

    That 's over. I am now making sure that OBAMA wins. not McSame.
    IF you wish McSame to win, that means, you were only voting for Hill because she was .... ? Because other than her anatomy, and being first lady, she is no different from Obama in policies. They are all the democratic platform.

    meanwhile, Blame Hillary and staff for her loss, not Obama.

    June 16, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Annette

    You can't blame her, there was definitely enough blame to go around for a lot of Clinton supporters. It's time for all the Clinton supporters to move on and support the nominee, and stop hating.

    June 16, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Ready for Change

    I totally agree with you "UNITED NATION". Judge not people.

    June 16, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. Aliou FL for Obama

    Hllary's folks who are still mourning need to get a grip. My family and I were all divided between the Dems as we moved along the campaign. However,. the only candidate remaining is Obama and we have all rallied behind him.

    Those who are still crying over spilled milk should have contributed more to Hill.

    It's no use crying now. I gave to Obama 10 times. My friends gave as much. and anyone I know had to give.

    I worked hard on that and no wasn't an answer. I am still working day and night for Obama.

    You guys let her run a debt while you could have contributed more. And if she was as convinced as you say, she could have used her own money to win the votes.

    The problems came because of over confidence and the dismissive way she treated Obama, whom, by contrast, gave her all respect all the time and remained calm all the time.

    Bill wasnt any help with his own temper. THEy acted as if they owned the presidency,t he same way as McBush is acting. He is arrogantly telling Obama where and when to hold free town meetings so he can get some free publicity.

    That sort of arrogance gets Obama's fans fired up. The more Repuck go after his wife, the more we fund her campaign to fight them.

    The more they talk about his experience, the more we trust his judgement.

    The more they paint him black, the more we see him as the color of reality in America: of things we can. Yes!!! We can. !!!!

    June 16, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  16. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    I hope these choices are better than his other choices. He is so green that he doesn't have the judgment or wisdom to choose smartly.

    Did you see him shoveling sand in the sandbags? What a girlie man.

    We need an alpha man for the presidency.

    Not some conscientious objector type.

    June 16, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Poor Hillary, there is just no pleasing her.
    Poooooor Hillary Supporters.
    Hey, do anybody know where Hillary is?
    Hey somebody, didn't at one time this country have two Unions?
    Maybe we can do it again. Everyone, that wants Hillary and vote for McCain,children should go to war, pay all the taxes, have no health care, pay the high cost of gas, women loose their right to choose and since they like rifles be made to hunt for their food.

    Those of us who vote for Obama, our children won't have to go to war, they can stay at home and be well educated, we won't have to pay taxes, have good health care, pay the mortgage on our homes, Obama women will have the right to choose, and we can eat steak and whatever we want because WE ARE THE CHANGE VOTERS

    No Hillary, No Bayh for VP Ditch Mitch

    June 16, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. Rave

    Dont let a women called Hillary Clinton even close to the campaign..she has been wandering around. Stay away from this women.
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    June 16, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. Kenneth M

    You can always vote McCain 😉

    June 16, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Aliou FL for Obama

    by the way, that muslim thing? just shows people's stupidity: There is nothing in our constitution that says anyone who is muslim can't be a president.

    However, we can't be trying a mon in the court of public opinion for sitting in his church for 20 years listening to a christian pastor, (southern baptist like myself), while at the same time they paint him as a muslim. It 's just plain ignorance.

    Anytime someone advances such idiocy, I want to send them to a remedial school of history and religion.

    BUt I know the tactics are just to eliminate people whom he trusts so he can be more maliable in the hand s of left and right neocons.

    Get used to it. Barack Obama will be our next president. No doubt about it.

    McPain is too old and want 100 years war. Neo cons agenda, not good for America.

    June 16, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Will in Richmond, VA

    If you care about character in your president, you cannot vote for John McCain.

    And where is his campaign staff listed? Is he afraid he will be called out on all his double-talk and back room politicking? Experience, huh? With that kind of experience, we're worse off than I thought.

    June 16, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. Mario

    To Clintons: This is not a State of Ownership but rather United States of America. You don’t own pedestal to the White House or the Senate or the free thinking American people. Americans don't own you anything and as we can see from your income statements you've done very well for yourself! Stop being bitter and pull back your slandering attack dogs against Obama!

    June 16, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    AGIB, God's a little busy these days to answer your prayers for an obama defeat!

    between his desperate sobbing over what we've done to his planet, and dealing all the wars, dead and maimed U.S. troops and their grieving families, homeless vets, the shameful deaths with Katrina, people STARVING to death every single day, people dying of curable diseases every single day...

    June 16, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    Jay, you are a MAJOR drama queen! ONE person is responsible for hillary's loss and the downfall of america's democracy?? dam, that is one powerful woman!!!!

    June 16, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. Hillary Supporter!

    Well, so much for "old" politics. He can have her. Her new "job" sure as heck won't sway this Hispanic and I doubt it will others. Hispanics are loyal not stupid! We know what this is all about. He needs the Hispanic vote and he thinks this will work. Whatever!

    June 16, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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