Cast of Characters
Obama Snaps Up Senior Clinton Policy Hands
By Jonathan Weisman
As Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton were pledging unity in Unity, N.H., the convergence of the Obama and Clinton camps continued in Chicago on a more tangible level in the form of another round of campaign mergers and acquisitions.
The Obama campaign announced it had hired Neera Tanden, Clinton's longtime policy aide and her campaign's policy director, as Obama's domestic policy director, under Heather Higgenbotham, his overall policy director. Obama will also bring on board Melody Barnes, the executive vice president for policy of the Center for American Progress, as senior domestic policy adviser.
The Center for American Progress was founded by former Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta as a liberal think tank to counter the conservative Heritage Foundation, but it has also served as something of a Democratic government-in-waiting -- though that government was supposed to be headed by the former first lady. CAP also employed Cassandra Butts, a long-time friend and policy adviser of Obama's who is now serving as a bridge to the Clinton policy world.
Obama's policy shop had already brought on board another old Clinton hand, Jason Furman, to help with economic policy, but Tanden represents the most senior hire from the Clinton camp yet. She is a longtime confidante of Sen. Clinton's, a legislative director and policy director for Clinton's Senate campaigns. And, unlike another recent Obama hire, fired Clinton campaign manager Patty Solis Doyle, Tanden remains near the center of the Clinton orbit.
Posted at 2:50 PM ET on Jun 27, 2008
Cast of Characters
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