Solis Doyle Joins Obama Campaign
Updated 1:56 p.m.
By Anne E. Kornblut
FLINT, Mich.-- The Obama campaign announced on Monday that it has chosen Patti Solis Doyle to a key general election post, making her the first prominent Clinton official to make the leap to the other side.
But it is not exactly being seen by Clinton loyalists as an olive branch.
Obama is installing Solis Doyle as chief of staff to the future vice presidential nominee, who has not yet been picked. Given that Solis Doyle was fired from the Clinton campaign, is now at odds with several senior officials who remained and has a strained relationship with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton herself these days, the appointment may well signal that Clinton's chances of being picked for the vice presidential slot are close to nil.
Although Solis Doyle devoted her adult life to working for Clinton and once counted her among her closest friends, her departure from the campaign was a rough one. Loyalists openly blamed her for the internal warring and strategic failures; after she left, Clinton expressed hard feelings toward Solis Doyle for the way money had been spent. Fairly or not, Solis Doyle is not the person the Obama campaign would pick to send a signal that it is about to welcome Clinton on board. If anything, some Clinton loyalists privately said, it is an insult.
But as long-standing as Solis Doyle's ties to Clinton may be, her Chicago roots run even deeper. Her first job in politics was on the campaign staff on Mayor Richard M. Daley, a leading Obama patron, and she has a long friendship with the Illinois senator's chief political adviser, David Axelrod. She also is close to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, another Chicagoan and Obama confidant.
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