Though she's only just announced her presidency bid, Hillary Clinton has quietly been filling out the top level of her campaign staff for some months now. So who exactly is Hillary Clinton's campaign team? Actually, if you followed the past couple presidential elections, there are a lot of familiar faces. Many of the reported key senior staffers who have joined the former secretary of state's campaign have worked on past election runs for the Clintons — and even for former rival President Obama.
Many of these crucial players weren't just part of former campaign teams. They held top aide positions in the White House, and a couple chose to leave their cushy posts to work as unpaid volunteers until Clinton officially launched her campaign. So why join? The reality is the election race is just getting started and why wouldn't they jump on what they believe is a winning ship.
Clinton is all but confirmed as the likely Democratic Party's presidential nominee. But as strong of a candidate as she is, it's really the behind-the-scenes people who keep the election machine well-oiled and running. They may have been recruited in the shadows, but their names are already making headlines.
Robby Mook, Campaign Manager
Described as a "cult figure" capable of commanding strong loyalties from staffers, Mook is expected to be Clinton's campaign manager in this upcoming election. He worked on Clinton's first campaign in 2008 and has also helped a number of campaigns for House Democrats. There's been some criticism though. In November, ABC News reported the existence of a listserv called the "Mook Mafia," an email group with 150 campaign vets whose swapped emails included enthused claims to "smite Republicans mafia-style."
John Podesta, Campaign Chairman
A former top White House adviser to Obama, John Podesta has been tapped as Clinton's campaign chairman, charged with keeping staffers — and perhaps husband Bill — in line. The longtime aide had been quietly advising Clinton before she made her presidential bid announcement and helped lead her senior staff recruitment along with Mook. Podesta was also Bill Clinton's chief of staff during his presidency.
Joel Benenson, Chief Strategist And Pollster
The Washington Post reported that Clinton's chief strategist and pollster will be Benenson. He worked on Obama's pollster teams for both his 2008 and 2012 campaigns, though sources told the Post that Benenson would take more of a broader roll as her chief strategist. Benenson also previously worked for Clinton's husband, former president Bill Clinton.
Jennifer Palmieri, Communications Director
In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Jennifer Palmieri, the White House's previous communications director, stepped into a similar role for Clinton's presidential campaign staff. Palmieri would handle Clinton's general media strategy and relationships with the press, a crucial role given Clinton's standoffish relations with media during her 2008 campaign.
Stephanie Hannon, Chief Technology Officer
Democrat sources told The Washington Post that Stephanie Hannon has become Clinton's chief technology officer for her campaign. Hannon, a former director of product management for Google, would be charged with a team of engineers and developers to create websites, apps, and other digital tools designed to help Clinton better engage with supporters, specifically younger voters.
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