Clinton campaign manager calls it quits

February 11, 2008 4:32:40 PM PST
The campaigns of the two Democratic presidential contenders are moving in opposite directions.Barack Obama is on the rise while Hillary Clinton's campaign has faltered. So, the senator from New York has shaken-up her organization - forcing Chicagoan Patti Solis Doyle to step down as her campaign manager.

Solis-Doyle is the sister of Chicago alderman Danny Solis.

The Clinton shake-up follows an Obama weekend blitz where he won all five Democratic presidential contests.

Obama is expected to continue on a roll by winning all three Potomac primary states Tuesday - Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. - where the demographics are favorable, with lots of wealthy voters, and lots of educated voters, groups that have been trending toward Obama.

If he were to win those three, that would give him eight in a row over the past five days and make him a clear favorite for the nomination, momentum that may be hard to stop.

Obama's campaign is riding the momentum of a weekend sweep of four presidential primaries and caucuses into another client rally Monday at the University of Maryland.

Clinton was not even talking about the Potomac primaries Monday as she met with African American supporters in D.C.

"We knew this would be rough, I have no illusions about that. I feel good about Ohio and Texas. We're going forward," said Clinton.

"We've got to crank it out. We're going to work and take care of each state in front of us," said Obama.

"Hillary swings the ax," trumpets one of the morning headlines following the losses, in reference to campaign manager Solis-Doyle, the first Latina to run a campaign.

"She's remaining my senior advisor, working with me on politics and the difficult issues that we're confronting," Clinton said of Solis-Doyle. "There's no significant change, it is merely we've got to get more help. We don't have enough help. We're putting in more people."

"I can comment on Patti. She's a terrific person," said Obama. "I would love to have her work for me. She's as good as they come. Her brother, Danny, is an alderman. He and I organized together back on the Southeast Side of Chicago."

Monday was also a coming out party, at Madam Trousseau's wax museum, where a wax display was unveiled. It shows Obama sitting behind the presidential desk while the Clintons, Bill and Hillary, watch off to the side.

"I don't know whether that's a good omen, but I hope my ears are smaller than in real life," Obama joked.

After the Potomac primary, the next contest is in Wisconsin a week from Tuesday. And the firewall for Clinton is March 4 in Ohio and Texas - states she's counting on to win to keep this nomination alive.