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Posted at 3:10 PM ET, 01/20/2011

Patrick Dillon to leave White House

By Chris Cillizza

Amid a series of personnel changes aimed at ramping up President Obama's 2012 reelection effort, deputy White House political director Patrick Dillon is leaving his post to take a job with a prominent Democratic consulting firm.

Dillon has signed on with Hilltop Public Solutions, a D.C.-based Democratic consulting shop where he will serve as a partner. Longtime Democratic operatives Mo Elleithee and Nick Baldick as well as Ken Morley, who managed the 2006 race of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D), are also partners in the firm.

"We're thrilled to have Patrick join the Hilltop team," said Elleithee. "His impressive background will be a tremendous asset as we continue to grow our strategic campaign practice. And, maybe even more importantly, it's always good to have another Hoya fan among our ranks."

(Baldick, Elleithee and Dillon -- not to mention the Fix -- are Georgetown graduates.)

Dillon's departure coincides with a major re-shuffling of the political operation within the White House.

Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, Dillon's wife, will leave her post as executive director of the Democratic National Committee to become a deputy campaign manager for the Obama reelection race in Chicago. (Patrick Dillon will be based out of Washington but will move to Chicago with his wife, according to Elleithee.)

White House political director Patrick Gaspard will take O'Malley Dillon's spot at the DNC. White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina will move to Chicago to become campaign manager of the reelection. White House Social Secretary Julianna Smoot will also move to the Windy City to be a deputy campaign manager. Mitch Stewart, the director of Organizing for America, the operation built to care and nurture the massive email list built during the 2008 campaign, will also be moving to Chicago, per Politico's Ben Smith.

The departures of Gaspard and Dillon will leave political responsibilities within the White House almost entirely in the hands of David Plouffe who managed Obama's 2008 campaign and recently joined the official White House staff.

For Dillon, the move is a reunion of sorts. He and Elleithee worked together on the gubernatorial campaign of Mark Warner (Va.) in 2001 while he and Baldick collaborated in 2004 on the first presidential bid of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (N.C.). Dillon went on to serve as Iowa Gov. Chet Culver's chief of staff before joining the White House as political director after the 2008 election.

By Chris Cillizza  | January 20, 2011; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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