So Hillary Clinton has a new campaign manager. Patti Solis Doyle is out. Maggie Williams is in. Read Doyle's outgoing memo to staff below and then we'll discuss:
From: Patti Solis Doyle
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2008 3:44 PM
Subject:Over a year ago Hillary launched her campaign for President.
Her announcement began a historic effort that has inspired millions and brought hundreds of thousands to their feet all across this nation.
I have been proud to manage this campaign, and prouder still to call Hillary my friend for more than sixteen years. I know that she will make a great President.
This has already been the longest Presidential campaign in the history of our nation, and one that has required enormous sacrifices from all of us and our families.
During the last month I have been working closely with my longtime friend, Maggie Williams.
This week Maggie will begin to assume the duties of campaign manager. I will serve as a senior adviser to Hillary and the campaign and travel with Hillary from time to time on the road. Maggie is a remarkable person and I am confident that she will do a fabulous job.
Although I will continue to see you all at headquarters, I would be remiss if I didn't thank each of you for your dedication, excellence, and passion over the last year.
You are the best campaign staff in the history of Presidential politics and I am grateful to each of you for your hard work and friendship.
To figure out if Maggie Williams is really going to make a difference is a little too inside baseball. It may help reinvigorate a campaign that needs a shot in the arm and she's a task master, so there'll be a renewed sense of energy. But a couple points to consider here:
Let's be real here. Early on when this race started, the Clinton campaign probably never thought that the nomination contest would even get to this point. She had wide name recognition and great poll numbers. They knew those numbers wouldn't last forever, but it's hard to believe that they could have predicted Obama's sustained momentum throughout this campaign.
The Clinton campaign knew Obama would be something they would have to contend with, but the extent that Obama and his campaign have been able to match (and exceed at times) Hillary's campaign in fundraising and organizational bravado has been stunning. This is after all the Clintons were talking about. They know how to win. They know politics. They have contacts. They have a network.
It hasn't been so much about the Clinton's network not working. It has. It's been more about how Obama is generating new voters and enthusiasm that has thrown this race wide open.
Here's another point to consider. With Obama's weekend sweep of states and with probable wins in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. coming on Tuesday, you have to wonder how these next three weeks will play out before Ohio and Texas on March 4. Obama will have the momentum. The Clinton campaign believes they can win Texas and Ohio, but three weeks is an awfully long time to wait for those victories and to let the Obama campaign sit on the narrative of momentum, change, and electability. It could skew the numbers to the point where Texas and Ohio especially become way too close for comfort.
If that's the case, does Texas and Ohio become Clinton's double Alamo? Please click here to get in the mood.