Skip to comments.Hillary Clinton's campaign plunged into crisis
Posted on 02/10/2008 3:47:26 PM PST by TornadoAlley3
Top aide Patti Solis Doyle quits and strategy of banking on big wins in March is high-risk, reports Toby Harnden
Hillary Clinton's campaign, in deep trouble following a weekend of heavy losses, lurched into a full crisis Sunday night after her campaign manager and long-time friend stepped down.
Patti Solis Doyle, the first aide Mrs Clinton hired back in 1991, was replaced by another long-time aide, Maggie Williams.
"I have been proud to manage this campaign and prouder still to call Hillary my friend for more than 16 years," Ms Solis Doyle wrote in an email to staff.
In a statement, Mrs Clinton praised Ms Solis Doyle's "extraordinary job" and "outstanding work". Mrs Williams was chief of staff to Mrs Clinton when she was First Lady.
Mrs Clinton's camp was already braced for a string of defeats in the six states still to vote in the Democratic race this month after suffering three landslide losses to Barack Obama at the weekend.
Although she was still in with a good chance in Maine caucuses that were held last night, Mrs Clinton appeared to be turning to the risky strategy of sitting out contests in smaller states and hoping for salvation next month when Democrats vote in the major Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, gambled everything on the "big prize" of Florida, conceding that he would lose the six states before that.
But he crashed out in Florida and dropped out of the Republican race. Few expect Mr Obama to score a knockout blow before March but waiting until later for big wins could be very risky for Mrs Clinton.
The young Illinois senator swept the board in Saturday's votes, winning by 37 percentage points in Washington, 36 points in Nebraska and 21 points in Louisiana. He also scored a lopsided victory in the US Virgin Islands in a performance that stunned the Clinton campaign.
Mr Obama had been expected to do well but the margins of his victories gave him an important boost before "Chesapeake Tuesday" tomorrow, when Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC vote.
Extending his string of wins could help him build powerful momentum for the nomination. "Hillary Clinton is playing the Rudy Giuliani strategy and we've learned that it doesn't work," said Frank Luntz, a leading pollster.
"Voters expect you to woo them. Skipping over states will provoke their ire. There's a real issue of respect in this race, you have a responsibility to try everywhere.
"Obama's busting his ass to compete in every state. That's what you expect from the front-runner, not the challenger. Hers is now a strategy of desperation."
Mrs Clinton looked chastened but defiant as she spoke at the Jefferson-Jackson Democratic dinner in Richmond, Virginia, as the results came in and omitted to congratulate the night's victor.
There were chants of "Obama, Obama" as she briefly mingled with the crowd before leaving as her victorious rival entered the room to an exultant welcome.
Her supporters were shocked by her defeats. Alma Ivey-Mathis, 65, a retired technology specialist from Moneta, Virginia, said: "I'm just crushed but I haven't given up. Hillary's still got a chance."
Underlining Mr Obama's effective status as front-runner, President George W Bush made his first detailed public comments about his would-be successor Sunday.
"I certainly don't know what he believes in," Mr Bush said in a Fox News interview. "The only thing I remember he said was he's going to attack Pakistan and embrace Ahmadinejad [Iran's president]."
Bill Burton, a spokesman for Mr Obama, said the Democratic candidate "doesn't need any foreign policy advice from the architect of the worst foreign policy decision in a generation".
In a memo released just before Saturday's results, the Clinton campaign said: "Although the next several states that hold nominating contests this month are more favourable to the Obama campaign, we will continue to compete in them and hope to secure as many delegates as we can before the race turns to Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania."
Those three states, culminating with Pennsylvania on April 22, carry 492 delegates, while there are 367 at stake in the 10 contests before them, including the 21 in last night's Maine caucuses.
Mr Obama's aides estimated that his wins would give him an additional 45 "pledged" delegates to the 27 he led by after Super Tuesday last week, when 22 states voted and Mr Obama eked out a wafer-thin victory.
Mrs Clinton has a theoretical overall lead if committed "super delegates" are taken into account but most Democratic officials believe these will swing behind whichever candidate emerges with a clear lead among pledged delegates.
Part of Mrs Clinton's problem is that her finances are now more limited than Mr Obama's. Television advertising in the major media markets of Texas and Ohio is expensive and Mr Obama's grassroots organising has thus far proved much more effective.
The loss in Washington state was a particular slap in the face for Mrs Clinton.
She held three rallies there in the 24 hours before voting compared with Mr Obama's single event, though it dwarfed hers by attracting a record crowd of some 21,000.
Opinion polls have given Mr Obama a 20-point advantage in Virginia and Maryland and he is also favoured in the District of Columbia.
There goes the good china.
huma had better have an appetite tonight, the ‘beast is gonna need a little lovin’.
Wasn't Maggie the aide who helped "sanitize" Vince Foster's office following his unfortunate mishap in a remote park in Washington DC?
With Hillary replacing her campaign manager with Maggie Williams, it may send a signal that she has the Latino vote locked up, they need more black support, and most importantly, Hillary needs a trusted advisor in place to once again help sanitize upcoming Clinton problems. Hillary needs someone around to help tough it out after the Feb 21 kick-off of the campaign fraud trial.
It’s already on its way to Dubai. They’ll sell everything to get into power.
She planted the phony suicide note.
She will be the black face Clinton uses to mug Obama for the nomination.
LOL -- Maggie Williams is one of the two who couldn't remember their names, when Congress had them up the Hill to testify about the Rose Law Firm records. They knew squat about nuthin'!
Hillary's in trouble now, if she's relying on Miss "I Can't Remember".
No problem. Remember Hillary and Slick took all the china from the White House and Air Force One when they left. When she comes back, maybe she'll bring it back. Otherwise, when she leaves this time, we will find out that she sold the White House to the Red Chinese the day before her term(s) ended.
Maggie also took $50,000 from Johnnie Chung...in the White House...AGAINST THE LAW!!! But she married the FBI Waco guy, Ron Noble!!
Vince Foster could opine.. Obama should hire more body guards..
Obama Fruit Fly Lifespan Alert.
That and up to her eyeballs in the Johnny Chung money thing....!
Maggie has most certainly been called upon to perform many more such duties of that sort that we will never know about.
Now that's hard to do, even for a professional actress.
Vince Foster was unavailable for comment.
Whose gonna be at the Elvis train to console the girls when Elvis is gone? Give me a mic. I'll do it.
Newsweek now gives Obama wins in 19 states, Clinton 12.