Opinion: Patti Solis Doyle, longtime Hillary Clinton loyalist, joins Obama camp
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As The Times’ Michael Finnegan detailed today, initial signs indicate that many women voters who had supported Hillary Clinton’s presidential quest are more quickly and willingly lining up behind Barack Obama than many analysts had anticipated. And one conversion is bound to get a lot of attention -- the Obama campaign has announced that additions to its staff include Patti Solis Doyle, who for more than a year managed Clinton’s bid.
The prospect of Doyle signing on with Obama had been rumored for a few weeks, and it was made official with the news that she will serve as chief of staff to his eventual vice presidential pick.
At first blush, that would seem to make it less likely that Clinton will be tapped for the running-mate slot.
Doyle, a longtime Clinton loyalist, was jettisoned from her team during Obama’s February streak of caucus and primary wins, which gave him a lead in the nomination contest that he never relinquished. At the time, she was singled out for much of the blame for a campaign that had not maximized Clinton’s strengths in the race’s early stages and then was seriously was short on cash during the Obama surge. Last week, the New York Times reported that since Doyle’s departure, she and Clinton had not spoken.
It would seem odd if they were to set about repairing their relationship with Doyle shepherding another Clinton campaign after the jolting end to their most recent collaboration. Then again, the adjustment period for the two presumably would be about a nanosecond.
Also on the list of new hires by Obama is another woman well-known within political circles: Stephanie Cutter, who served as head of communications for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. Cutter has been assigned to what could prove an especially challenging position -- chief of staff for Michelle Obama, expected to be the target of intensifying attacks from some conservatives.
-- Don Frederick