Team Hillary Expands: Key Obama Staffers To Join Hillary Clinton's Presidential Campaign

| by Kathryn Schroeder
article imagearticle image

Hillary Clinton has added additional key staff members to her 2016 presidential campaign.

Two of the new additions are closely tied to the Obama administration—Karen Finney and Jennifer Palmieri. Palmieri announced this week she would be leaving her post as communications director to Obama to join Team Hillary.

Teddy Goff, who ran Obama’s digital operation, and Andrew Bleeker, who was in charge of online advertising, have also reportedly joined Team Hillary.

Jim Messina, who was Obama’s campaign manager in the 2012 election, has already committed to supporting Clinton through superPAC Priorities USA, reports The Hill.

“We want Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the United States,” Messina said. “It’s her turn. I think it’s her time.”

Adding to the mix of high-profile staffers is Jim Margolis, who served as senior adviser to Obama in both presidential elections. Joel Benenson, who was Obama’s chief strategist and pollster, has also joined Clinton.

It was announced in January by The Wall Street Journal that John Podesta, a top White House adviser who served as chief of staff during former President Bill Clinton’s second term, will join Team Hillary in a senior role after he leaves the Obama administration in February.

Democratic operatives are very happy with Clinton’s staff decisions.

“I’m encouraged by it,” said Jim Manley, the Democratic strategist. “I think it signifies that she’s figuring out that she needs a different structure going forward. It seems like she’s internalized some of what happened in 2008 and they’re looking at a different approach.”

Not everyone thinks Clinton is assembling the best team, or the most unique.

“It’s not thinking outside the box, it’s essentially using the same class of political operatives,” said a supporter who worked on Clinton’s 2008 campaign. “Why is there not one new face from Austin, Texas or one person who hails from Silicon Valley?

“It’s tired and predictable,” the supporter added.

Given that Clinton is relying heavily on Obama staffers for her campaign, some believe she may not be able to remove herself from his policies.

“What’s noteworthy is Secretary Clinton is bring on top level Obama policy hands—not just political hacks,” said Tim Miller, the executive director of America Rising, the superPAC that is targeting Clinton. “Any thought that she will able to distance herself from him effectively is completely wrong.”

VOX mentions how top White House talent like Clinton is drawing is usually given to the Vice President when preparing for a presidential run. But in this case, it is Clinton, not Biden, that is gaining the support.

Clinton has not yet formally announced that she will be running a 2016 presidential campaign. There is currently no timeframe as to when her announcement will be made.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, VOX, The Hill / Photo Source: Wikipedia Commons