Obama's Press to Cherry-Pick Top Clintonites Under Way

Some staffers, fund-raisers ready to jump after vote; others await her approval
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2008 12:37 PM CDT
Advisers to Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., David Axelrod, left, and Robert Gibbs.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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(Newser) – Perhaps just hours from securing the Democratic nomination, Barack Obama's campaign is moving to grab the best donors, advisers, and operatives from Hillary Clinton's team, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some are merely waiting for primary voting to end to make the jump; others, out of personal loyalty or sheer animosity, are waiting for approval from Clinton herself.

High-level Obama contacts have, in recent days, reached out to former White House chief Leon Panetta and ex-Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, among others. The tricky dance “requires skillful pairing up” of caller and called, one Obama supporter says. But Panetta's sentiment is common: "After the end of the primaries, I'll do everything possible to help the party come together."