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Hildebrand Returns to the Private Sector

Steve Hildebrand, one of the principal architects of President-elect Barack Obama's field operation during his successful primary and general election campaigns, will return to his consulting company rather than take a job in the White House, Hildebrand confirmed to the Fix Monday.

"I'm returning to Hildebrand Tewes to work on a variety of issues that will be debated before the new Congress and important to our new President," said Hildebrand via email.

Hildebrand and Paul Tewes, Obama's Iowa state director during the caucuses and the day-to-day director of the Democratic National Committee in the general election, formed their eponymous consulting shop in early 2005. Both men took leaves from the company in the early days of 2007 to work full time for Obama. (The Fix named Hildebrand and Tewes "winners" in our post-election analysis.)

Hildebrand is the third member of Obama's campaign inner circle to pass up the White House for the private sector. He follows in the footsteps of campaign manager David Plouffe and senior adviser Anita Dunn.

The notoriously shy Hildebrand has received a bit of unwanted publicity of late in response to a piece he wrote for the Huffington Post asking liberals to give Obama a break when it came to the ideological positioning of his Cabinet picks.

Wrote Hildebrand:

"This is not a time for the left wing of our Party to draw conclusions about the Cabinet and White House appointments that President-Elect Obama is making. Some believe the appointments generally aren't progressive enough. Having worked with former Senator Obama for the last two years, I can tell you, that isn't the way he thinks and it's not likely the way he will lead."

The liberal blogosphere -- as it does from time to time -- exploded in response.

Of the controversy, Hildebrand said: "It didn't surprise me that many on the left were angry with me. Too many feel I was telling them to keep quiet (although they used different words). Most importantly, I stand firmly by my point that with so many major problems facing our country, we all must come together in order to solve them. If we don't, we will continue down the same path and more and more people in this country will be hurting."

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 16, 2008; 11:28 AM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Next: IL-Senate: A Special Or Not?

Comments

Oh Zouk, poor,crazy, delusional Zouk.

Wild accusations, such as the effluence you emit daily may not necessarily be protected speech.

I wonder, how do you get a job shilling for the RNC? Do they pay well? Given the drop in the quality of the cut and paste crowd I can't imagine the pay covers a beer tab.

Posted by: Thatsnuts | December 16, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

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Chris:

The Obama people are abusing the "report abuse" button - because they are using it BASED ON CONTENT OF OPPOSING VIEWS.


It is sad.


Also, if the Obama transition office is doing this - we have GOVERNMENT FUNDS BEING UTILIZED TO VIOLATE THE CIVIL RIGHTS, IN THIS CASE FREE SPEECH RIGHTS, OF US CITIZENS.


Nice.


Really great group of people these Obama nuts.


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Posted by: 37thandORulesForever | December 16, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Hilldebrand sounds like a WASP name. Plus, he's a white guy. Obama is trying to severely restrict white WASP guys from his cabinet. Being a statistician it's clear that there is a "Statistically signficant" difference between the population proportion of Democratic White Male Christians over 40 years of age in the population and the population proportion of Democratic White Male Christians in the Obama Cabinet.

But, even just eye balling you can tell he's trying to keep White WASP guys out of his cabinet and inner circle. Who will they blame when they screw up everything even more than the curren WASP running the country. Ha ha ha...this is hilarious...who will the Obama Cheerleaders (Washington Press Corps) blame for Obama's failures when there are no White Male WASPS running the Senate, Congress, or Executive branch.

We are well on our way to becoming South Africa. Tons of corruption and crime and a blackout by the MSM on any bad news. Obama is the new Mandela. The fact that Mandela was a corrupt, terrorist who ruined the South African economy and recently sang "Kill all the Whites" at his 90th b-day is irrelevant. The Mythology is that Obama and Mandela are great.

Posted by: Tom22 | December 16, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Depends on the meaning of "inappropriate". clinton Redux. why are all Libs so crooked?

The most recent version of the Obama transition team’s contacts with Gov. Blagojevich or his staff follows an internal review. In a statement the transition team explained:

That review affirmed the public statements of the President-elect that he had no contact with the governor or his staff, and that the President-elect’s staff was not involved in inappropriate discussions with the governor or his staff over the selection of his successor as US Senator.

Well, for those paying careful attention, this is a change. The line now is that there were no “inappropriate” conversations with Blago. That is a bit different from Obama’s broader denial on December 11:

Let me say that I was as appalled as anyone by the revelations earlier this week. I have never spoken with the Governor on this subject. And I am quite confident that no representatives of mine would have had any part in any deals related to this seat. I think the materials released by the U.S. Attorney reflect that. I have asked my team to gather the facts of any contacts with the Governor’s staff about this vacancy so we can share them with you. And we will do that in the next few days.

But that was also a change from his earlier comment on December 9 [italics mine]:

I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so we were not — I was not aware of what was happening.

The “not aware of what was happening” seems to fly in the face of the revelation that Rahm Emanuel was relaying to Blago the President-elect’s wish list of senate candidates. Or was the President-elect being imprecise and simply saying he was not aware of wrongdoing?

Did the President-elect and transition team try to hide the ball from the public, or was the Obama really unaware of the conversations by his staffers? The artful “I” to “we” suggests the former. Already 45% of the public isn’t buying the self-exoneration.

The real issues remains: what were those conversations and were they entirely appropriate? The release of the transition team’s review and ultimately the tapes themselves will tell us more. We should know from past presidencies that parsing never works out well for Presidents. Purposeful vagueness — the meaning of “is,” or “what was happening” — maybe an attractive out for a glib leader. But it does not engender respect or trust. It is one aspect of the Clinton presidency that Obama could do without.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 16, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

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