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Clinton Insiders Take Umbrage at Solis Doyle Move

By Anne E. Kornblut
FLINT, Mich. -- The nomination fight is over, but the warring between the Obama and Clinton campaigns lives on.

The Obama team announced today that it had picked former Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle to serve on its general election staff. Fair enough: Solis Doyle is a native Chicagoan with deep ties to many senior Obama aides.

But Solis Doyle -- who after her firing midway through the primaries is no longer on speaking terms with much of the Clinton inner circle, including the senator herself -- has been tapped to serve as chief of staff to the future vice presidential running mate. Not exactly a signal that Obama is considering Hillary Clinton for the job.

At least that's how Clinton loyalists see it. "It's a slap in the face," Susie Tompkins Buell, a prominent Clinton backer, said in an interview. "Why would they put somebody that was so clearly ineffective in such a position? It's a message. We get it." She said it was a "calculated decision" by the Obama team to "send a message that she [Clinton] is not being considered for the ticket."

Other Clinton insiders also seethed. "Who can blame Obama for rewarding Patti? He would never be the nominee without her," one person who has worked for both Clintons and remains close to them said. The sentiment reflected what another person in the immediate Clinton orbit described as "shock" that Obama would send such a strong signal that he is not considering Clinton as his runningmate so soon.

Although she devoted her adult life to working for Clinton, Solis Doyle left the Clinton world surrounded by a cloud of acrimony, blamed by some close Clinton loyalists -- and reportedly Clinton herself -- for failing to keep the campaign in order heading into Iowa. After being yanked from her role, Solis Doyle had said she would travel with the campaign and remain on as an adviser, but Clinton effectively cut her off and she was not seen on the road again.

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 16, 2008; 3:06 PM ET
Categories:  Hillary Rodham Clinton  
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