Patti Solis Doyle was a long-time assistant to Hillary Clinton. She began her association with Clinton as her assistant during Bill Clinton’s campaign for president in 1992. Solis Doyle then served as Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager during her senate runs in 2000 and 2006. Until February of this year, she was Clinton’s campaign manager in her bid for the Democratic nomination. She is credited with coining the term “Hillaryland”, a term describing Clinton’s close circle of advisors. Solis Doyle has a long history in political campaigning, working on both Richard M. Daily’s campaign for Mayor of Chicago and her brother’s campaign for an alderman post in their native Chicago.
One of the areas Solis Doyle may help Barack Obama is in winning over woman voters that supported Hillary Clinton in droves. According to a Poll conducted by The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, support among white woman voters for Obama has actually dropped from 58% in March to 43% currently. This is due, many believe, to the perception that Clinton’s gender was actually a hindrance in her campaign. Some see Obama’s choice of Solis Doyle as choice for chief of staff to his eventual Vice-Presidential candidate as a direct wooing of Hillary’s female supporters.
Another area that the Obama camp might think Solis Doyle might help is in winning over Hispanic voters. Solis Doyle’s parents emigrated from Mexico. A poll conducted by Pacific Market Research and the University of Washington showed that Latino voters supported Clinton over Obama 57% to 35%. The Latino vote was credited with giving Clinton victories in California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. The Hispanic vote has been key in presidential races in the past with the most recent race in 2004 as a prime example. A large portion of the Latino vote went to President Bush in 2004. In order to beat McCain, Obama needs to court the Hispanic vote, an area where McCain has an edge over Obama. Some insiders see the Solis Doyle appointment as an attempt by Obama to court this important block of votes.
Two other areas where the appointment of Solis Doyle can help is in bringing Clinton’s working class support, which helped her win the important States of Ohio and Pennsylvania, into the Obama camp and the perception that this appointment is an olive branch to Clinton supporters. Some see this appointment, at the very least, as bringing campaign strategies that helped Clinton with these voting blocks. Maybe the appointment of Solis Doyle as chief of staff to the unnamed Vice-Presidential candidate is a signal to the voters who the possible candidate might eventually be.