For Immediate Release

January 20, 2011


Contact: DNC Press

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine Announces Staff Transitions at the Democratic National Committee



Washington, DC – Today, in a meeting with staff at DNC headquarters and in an email to DNC Members, Chairman Tim Kaine announced that Democratic National Committee Executive Director Jennifer O’Malley Dillon will join President Obama’s reelection campaign when it opens in the next few months as a Deputy Campaign Manager and that she will be replaced by White House Political Director Patrick Gaspard, who currently serves as an Assistant to the President.  In recognition of those changes, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement:


“The Democratic National Committee is committed to supporting the President’s agenda and helping Democratic candidates secure election and reelection.  For the past two years, Jen O’Malley Dillon has done enormous work in helping lead us in that mission.  Jen will be leaving the DNC for a new job of similar importance.  As a Deputy Campaign Manager of the President’s reelection campaign, she will play a critical role in ensuring that President Obama has the opportunity to continue to bring about positive, progressive change during a second term in the White House.  I would like to congratulate Jen on this opportunity, thank her for her historic contribution to building a great DNC operation and wish her well in her transition to this new job.  The President could not have done better than to tap Jen to help lead his reelection effort.


“Although Jen will be sorely missed at the Democratic National Committee, I was proud to announce earlier today that an eminently qualified and talented individual will be taking her place.  White House Political Director Patrick Gaspard will be a welcome addition when he moves over to the DNC team.  He brings to the job an unparalleled passion for the President, the Democratic Party and the type of civic engagement and grassroots organizing that fueled President Obama’s victory in 2008 and that has been so important to the success of our party.  I am certain that with Patrick helping lead our effort, the Democratic National Committee can continue to offer the President and other Democratic elected officials the support they need to keep America moving forward.”



EXCERPTS from Jan. 20, 2011 Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

   Q    On the staff changes related to the reelection campaign, a couple points on that.  Can we say now or can you say from the podium that the President is officially running for reelection?
     MR. GIBBS:  I think that would -- I think it is likely that that’s going to happen, obviously.  I will say this.  I think as the article says, the President is likely to file papers in the future that would officially make him a candidate.  But I think it’s safe to say, Ben, that the President -- we’ve started and we’ve made some progress on getting our economy back in order, and I think the President wants to continue to do that.
     Q    Will there be at the time of filing some sort of event, do you anticipate?
     MR. GIBBS:  I don’t know that the campaign is that far down the road in the planning of that.
     Q    Patrick Gaspard going to the DNC -- so who will be the main political voice here?
     MR. GIBBS:  Well, I think as the article -- again, as the article says, the political office closes here.  I think that’s a matter of duplication and efficiency that makes a lot of sense, to house that operation over at the Democratic National Committee.

.  .  .  .

    Q    And on the political changes and the rearranging and the establishment of the Chicago headquarters, is this not early?  I mean, you speak of the fact that the economy is getting back on its feet, there are so many things in flux, both politically and economically in this country -- is it a little early to get started on 2012?
MR. GIBBS:  No, look, I think this is very much in line with the calendar that you’ve seen align with similar efforts that were made in -- ahead of the 2004 election and ahead of the 1996 election by Presidents Bush and Clinton.  I think that’s just the way it works. 
     Q    Is this a function of the need to begin fundraising for a formal declaration?
     MR. GIBBS:  Well, again, there’s a -- there are a whole series of things that have to happen in a campaign.  And, again, I think they’re happening very much in accordance with the type of timelines you’ve seen in the past.
     Q    Robert, can I follow on this?
     MR. GIBBS:  I’ll come around.
     Q    Did you say that he is likely or definitely running?
     MR. GIBBS:  I think obviously the setting up of a campaign makes it far likely.  But, again, I think the official rendering of that decision would come, as the story notes, in the filing of that paperwork with the FEC. 

See also:
Jeff Zeleny. "Obama to Close Political Office and Start 2012 Campaign"  New York Times, Jan. 20, 2011.

Lynn Sweet. "Obama 2012 campaign headquarters in Chicago; Smoot to step down as social secretary for large re-elect job."  Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 20, 2011.