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Former Clinton Insider Joins Obama Campaign

UPDATE, 1:30 p.m. ET: As expected, the Obama campaign announced a series of general election hires today, most notably Patti Solis Doyle, former campaign manager for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential bid.

Solis Doyle, one of Clinton's closest confidantes, will serve as chief of staff to the eventual vice presidential pick. She managed Clinton's campaign until February when she departed the effort amid continued struggles for the one-time frontrunner.

The hiring of Solis Doyle is likely to be painted as a peace offering between the Obama and Clinton campaigns after nearly 18 months of campaigning against one another. Solis Doyle adds a Hispanic voice to Obama's senior staff and another woman.

Among the other additions announced today by the Obama campaign: Jen O'Malley Dillon, who ran Iowa for John Edwards in 2008, will be the battleground states director, and Paul DioGardi, the political director at the Democratic Governor's Association, will be industrial states regional director.

Original Post:

Four years removed from running the communications department for John Kerry's presidential campaign, Stephanie Cutter is joining Barack Obama's national bid as chief of staff to the candidate's wife.

Cutter will not only run Michelle Obama's political world but will also serve as a senior adviser to the campaign.

It's a critical role given the focus already on Michelle Obama on the campaign. The potential future first lady drew unwanted attention earlier in the race when she declared that her husband's candidacy was "the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country." She later clarified the remarks.

More recently, Michelle Obama was at the center of a vicious rumor that she had used the term "whitey" in an appearance at Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church in Chicago. (She didn't.) So bumpy has the road been of late for Michelle Obama that the Associated Press's Chuck Babington penned a piece last week entitled "Hard Week, Soft Landing for Obama's Wife."

Enter Cutter, who earned a reputation as a hard-nosed communicator during the 2004 campaign. Prior to that post, she spent time as communications director and deputy communications director for Sen. Ted Kennedy (Mass.). After her time in the national spotlight during the Kerry campaign, Cutter did work as a consultant for both Kennedy and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev).

Cutter joins Jim Messina as new senior hires in the Obama campaign who boast long and strong ties to Capitol Hill -- a sign that while the presumptive Democratic nominee talks regularly about running a different sort of campaign, he is also relying heavily on grizzled veterans to execute the strategy.

The Obama campaign is rapidly staffing up. Jeff Blodgett will manage Obama's Minnesota campaign, while Steve Shale has been tasked with organizing the campaign in Florida.

After the jump: Full list of Obama hires announced today...

New Obama campaign 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 Adviser 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 Adviser: Michael Strautmanis

African American Vote Director: Rick Wade

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 16, 2008; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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