clinton campaign shakeup

Posted on February 11, 2008


Hillary Clinton and John McCain have both worked closely together on the Armed Services Committee in the Senate, sometimes even traveling together to places like Iraq for their work on the committee.

Bill Clinton himself had said that his wife and Republican presidential hopeful McCain both admire and respect each other and would conduct “the most civilized election in American history” if they were both their respective parties’ nominees.

Now, that respect seems to have gone a step further – Clinton is taking a leaf from McCain’s campaign strategy.

Just as McCain rose from being left for dead politically last summer when his campaign was broke and top campaign advisers were deposed of, to now become the most likely Republican nominee, Clinton is shaking things up on her side as things are not going her way, in the hope of emulating McCain’s success.

Clinton has replaced campaign manager Patty Solis Doyle with a former chief of staff, Maggie Williams, after this weekend’s string of losses in the presidential-nominating races in Maine, Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington.

As she watched her lead over Barack Obama disappear while funds continue to dwindle from a campaign burning through cash faster than it had planned for, Clinton is hoping that a change of management would give her campaign a new lease of badly-needed life.

The overhaul of Clinton’s team had already been planned for since she lost Iowa in December but was not put into action following her unexpected comeback in New Hampshire, followed by Nevada.

Her campaign team needs to be at its sharpest and shrewdest if it wants to stay in the race against an insurgent Obama, who has broken through and is still gathering momentum. The tide turned in his favor following the Super Tuesday contest on February 5, his campaign war chest is bursting and he is loosening Clinton’s stranglehold on certain constituencies, such as Hispanics.

With the make-or-break states of Ohio and Texas coming up, Clinton will absolutely have to hang on to her faithful.

Besides working on sharpening Clinton’s message and ability to resonate with voters, her team has to find creative new ways to raise funds and expand the contributer base to keep up with the Obama camp. Organizationally, the team must beef up on local experts and volunteers so that they can face the highly-effective grassroots movement that Obama’s campaign had amassed.

They might also have to do damage control from the possible fall-out of Doyle’s departure at this crucial juncture – Doyle is a Latina and there are worries that her ousting might affect Clinton’s votes among the Hispanic community, an important constituent in Texas.

Clinton has this last crucial chance to turn things around. Hopefully, her new team would be able to pull it off and allow her to face McCain in November.