Obama Gives Possible Clue As To Who Will Not Be Running Mate

Obama’s campaign announced several staff additions today but the one which received the most notice was the hiring of Patti Solis Doyle to be chief of staff to the vice presidential candidate. This story can be taken different ways, but hopefully it is a sign that Hillary Clinton is not being considered as Obama’s running mate.

As I’ve discussed in several previous posts, putting Clinton on the ticket would be a disaster, most likely making John McCain the next president. Having Clinton as running mate would destroy Obama’s message as a reformer, would give McCain a huge edge among the independents who will probably decide this election, and would make it difficult for Obama to expand the electoral map beyond the old blue states.

Clinton fired Solis Doyle as campaign manager during the primaries. Initially this news was being taken two different ways. One possibility was that an old Clinton aide was being hired in preparation for adding Clinton to the ticket. Fortunately several reports coming out during the day make this interpretation look increasingly unlikely. Apparently the two have not spoken for months, and other Clinton aides see this as a message than Clinton will not be chosen.

“It’s a slap in the face,” Susie Tompkins Buell, a prominent Clinton backer, said in an interview. “Why would they put somebody that was so clearly ineffective in such a position? It’s a message. We get it.” She said it was a “calculated decision” by the Obama team to “send a message that she [Clinton] is not being considered for the ticket.”

CQ Politics has a similar take:

…a Clinton insider, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told CQ Politics that the subtext is clear.

“Translated subtitles aren’t necessary,” the insider said. “There is no other way to interpret this other than ‘[Expletive] you.’”

I certainly hope these Clinton backers and insiders are right.

Among the other appointments, Stephanie Cutter, John Kerry’s communication director in 2004, will be chief of staff to Michelle Obama. Her job will certainly be to keep Michelle on message and improve her image.

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  1. 1
    Renee Bragg says:

    Why is everyone so “scared” of Hilary?!

    This country was in the best shape it has ever been in when Bill Clinton was president. Look at the economy now. Is this what you want to see continue?
    The country is not a religious organization. It is a business and it should be run like one, with the entire “team’s” interest as the goal. Today, our country is run based on what works best for George Bush and the ones closest to him!
    Morality should be mine and yours to decide. It can not and should not be delegated.
    This country was founded on “freedom of relegion”. Why should our leader only be concerned with the needs of the christian population?
    I hope that Obama does name Clinton as his running mate and I will be the first at the polls!!!

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:


    Just being better than George Bush is a very low bar, and I hope for something better than that. Besides, Hillary Clinton has moved so far to the right that there is no meaningful difference between her and McCain ideologically (other than for occasional issues such as abortion rights).

    Making matters worse, Clinton has adopted Rove style tactics which make her unacceptable on any ticket.

    Using religion to back Clinton is a strange criteria considering that Hillary Clinton has much stronger ties to the religious right than McCain does. She also has a considerably worse record with regards to being influenced by the moral views of the religious right in her policy decisions.

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