Earlier this week, a pajarito told me that there was a story about the Clinton campaign shakeup that portrayed former campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle in a less than favorable light with references to herself as the “queen bee” and a penchant for watching daytime soap operas in her office. Thanks to Google, I was able to search Patti Solis Doyle and soap operas, and sure enough, this article from TheAtlantic.com popped up. This piece in The Atlantic portrays Patti Solis Doyle in a similar vein to George W. Bush’s Alberto Gonzales, aka Fredo, the loyal lapdog.
This damning article in The Atlantic largely reveals the arrogance in the Clinton campaign and the problem with promoting a token Latina who can’t see the forest for the trees. Patti Solis Doyle, the woman who coined the term Hillaryland, was given the role of campaign manager largely because of her loyalty to Senator Clinton and not so much because of her skills. She isn’t a real strategist, that role was left for Mark Penn. Patti Solis Doyle would often say, “When I’m speaking, Hillary is speaking.” How arrogant and frightening!
Solis Doyle was also in charge of fundraising for Senator Clinton’s 2006 reelection bid. In the process, many high powered Clinton advisers were pushed out or fired, while she raked in the dough. Terry McAuliffe even lobbied privately with the Clintons to have Patti Solis Doyle removed two years ago, and current campaign manager Maggie Williams tried to oust Solis Doyle two years ago as well. The Atlantic states, “She [Solis Doyle] was infamous among her colleagues for referring to herself as “the queen bee” and for her habit of watching daytime soap operas in her office.” That’s a sure way to endear yourself to your staffers. I surely wouldn’t like it if any of my bosses referred to themselves as queen or king bees and watched trashy soaps on the job. Patti Solis Doyle could have justified watching C-SPAN or maybe even CNN, which has lately become more dramatic like the daily soaps, but telenovelas?!
Solis Doyle also displayed poor financial management skills with donor funds, as the Clinton campaign burned through more than $30 million for the senate reelection bid in 2006, even though Hillary didn’t face any serious opponents. To create an air of inevitability that Senator Clinton would be the Democratic party’s nominee for the presidency, Solis Doyle promoted the lie that $40-50 million would be left over after the ’06 election to dump into the presidential campaign kitty, when in reality about $10 million was left over.
So what does this mean, and where is the lesson for us? Well, the “world according to Patti Solis Doyle” demonstrates that we Latinos cannot get lazy on the job, especially when the stakes are high. This should go without saying, but we have to think a few steps ahead and not play into our own negative stereotypes that we like cheesy soap operas or cannot manage money. And we should not act like jefes or the patrón and then flaunt any power that we do acquire over our subordinates. This should be covered in management 101, but sometimes we forget because so few of us attain such high profile positions in the American power structure. I’m sure that the feeling of being Hillary Clinton’s alter ego was intoxicating to a degree for Patti Solis Doyle, but it also led to her downfall.
I also think that we as voters need to think about Hillary Clinton as a candidate. She keeps telling us that she will be “ready from day one” to be president, but valuing loyalty over the harsh realities isn’t something that we need in the next presidential administration. We have had a President who has built a tight inner circle that didn’t value dissent or lend much thought to our realities in the world. Can we afford to have this kind of leadership again?