Clinton team re-tools for future races

January 8, 2008 6:02:07 PM PST
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton began retooling her campaign, looking ahead to later contests in the primary process.

Several new faces were expected to come aboard, including Maggie Williams, a longtime confidante to the former first lady, and Doug Sosnik, who served as White House political director under Bill Clinton, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

While none of the current team of advisers were expected to be replaced - including strategist Mark Penn and campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle - aides acknowledged Clinton's message needed to be sharpened and improved to run more effectively against Barack Obama and his theme of change.

Clinton was expected to step off the campaign trail and huddle with her team Wednesday to make further decisions about how to proceed going forward. She was expected to fly out Thursday morning, probably to California.

Among the decisions yet to be made is how forcefully to compete in Nevada and South Carolina, which hold contests later this month.

While some advisers urged that Clinton run hard in those states, others believed it would be more prudent to effectively cede them to concentrate time and resources in California, New York and nearly 20 other states in what amounts to a national primary Feb. 5.

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who serves as a national co-chairman on the Clinton campaign, said he believed she would regain her footing as the focus shifts away from Iowa and New Hampshire.

"All the candidates have been gunning at her, and that dynamic changes now," he said. "When people begin asking the same questions of Senator Obama, this will be a race for a long time."


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