Al Gore endorses Obama. In all the Cali marriage hubbub, this news was buried, but it is significant.
Obama's first campaign appearance with Gore, at the Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit, came after Gore announced his support in a blog item on his website, AlGore.com. In the item, Gore said he would "do whatever I can to make sure he is elected president of the United States."
Not unexpected, but it stirred up Gore VP talk again, which seems silly -- why would the former VP and Nobel Prize winner even want the job?
The real political news is in this same article -- what do you make of this?
Meanwhile Monday, Obama sent a strong signal that he was not considering Clinton as his running mate: He announced that Patti Solis Doyle, who was ousted as Clinton's campaign manager in February, would be chief of staff to the future vice presidential candidate.
The announcement outraged Clinton supporters, who said it proved that Obama was not taking Clinton seriously. Solis Doyle, who worked for Clinton most of her career, is barely on speaking terms with her former boss.
"It's a slap in the face," Susie Tompkins Buell, a prominent Clinton donor, said Monday. "Why would they put somebody that was so clearly ineffective in such a position?" She said it was a "calculated decision" by the Obama team to "send a message that [Clinton] is not being considered for the ticket."
I'm not sure how the selection of Doyle directly correlates to no VP for Hillary; after all, it's pretty clear that universally Solis Doyle was viewed as a major contributor to the chaos, high-$-burn rate, and disorganization of the campaign. I think many Obama supporters would question this pick. Of course the chief of staff for the veep is not exactly a mission-critical position; all I know is that I'd watch the bottom line, as Obama has run a tight, disciplined financial ship to date.
Some other additions to the Obama team were officially announced yesterday; the list is below the fold.
From a campaign press release:
The Obama campaign took a major step today in readying for the general election fight, announcing fifteen new members of the campaign's leadership team. The staff members--a combination of new hires and current staff assuming new roles will help broaden and deepen the reach of this campaign for change--from field organizing to constituency outreach to voter registration.
"From the beginning, we've asked the American people to stand up and take ownership of this campaign--and it's because of their overwhelmingly positive response that 16 months later we're poised to make history together," campaign manager David Plouffe said. "Today we're adding to our leadership team so that we reach even more Americans who share the belief that people who love their country can change it. These staff members bring a wealth of organizing experience to their new role, and they'll provide key insight and direction as we continue to build our coalition."
Constituency Director: Brian Bond - formerly LGBT Outreach Director at the DNC
National Field Director: Jon Carson - formerly Obama for America Voter Contact Director
Senior Advisor to the Campaign and Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama: Stephanie Cutter
Industrial States Regional Director: Paul Diogardi - formerly Political Director for the Democratic Governor's Association.
Battleground States Director: Jen O'Malley Dillon - formerly Iowa State Director for John Edwards for President
Chief of Staff to the Vice Presidential Nominee: Patti Solis Doyle
Latino Vote Director: Temo Figueroa - formerly Obama for America National Field Director
First Americans Vote Director: Wizipan Garriott
Northeast Regtional Director: Eureka Gilkey - formerly Obama for America Deputy Political Director
50-State Voter Registration Director: Jason Green - formerly Obama for America political and field staff
Campaign Chief of Staff: Jim Messina - formerly Chief of Staff to Senator Max Baucus
LGBT Vote Director: Dave Noble - formerly of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
West Regional Director: Matt Rodriguez -.formerly Obama for America New Hampshire State Director
Senior Advisor: Michael Strautmanis
African American Vote Director: Rick Wade