Campaign manager discusses her Latina heritage

Patti Solis Doyle, campaign manager for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign told about 150 students that she is honored to work with the New York Democrat as the first Latina to run a presidential campaign during a speech in the Elliott School Tuesday.

“I come from a family where my father completed third grade and my mother completed sixth grade,” Solis Doyle said. “And as a Latina, I feel a great sense of pride that Hillary chose me to run her campaign.”

She spoke about what it was like working as part of a team and the need to “always be there for the people that you work with and work for.”

But she said that she never loses sight of what she is fighting for.

“(T)he way I was brought up, I’m doing this for my children, to make sure they have the education and health care systems they deserve.”

She said students should never forget where they came from.

Solis Doyle also spoke about first working for Hillary Clinton during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.

“When I first went to Little Rock, Arkansas, to work on Bill’s campaign, I was very disappointed when I got there to find out that I’d be working for Hillary,” she said. “My first thoughts were ‘I didn’t come here to work for the wife.’ And now I’m leading her presidential campaign.”

Solis Doyle said as a campaign manager, it is important to have confidence in making a decision and sticking with that decision. She said one of Clinton’s main philosophies is that argument and disagreement breed the best ideas. But at the end of the day Solis Doyle said she is the one who Clinton trusts to make the final decision, no matter how unpopular it may be with the other people working on the campaign.

She said involvement in politics has to do with wanting to see change.

“Politics is not a spectator sport,” she said. “When I first started working for Hillary, I shared an apartment with four people and didn’t make any money, but I wanted to make a difference.”

In an interview with The Hatchet, Solis Doyle said Clinton will work hard to go after the youth vote.

“The Bush administration has caused such damage that young people are going to deal with that I think this time they’ve had it,” she said. “We’re aggressively targeting the youth votes.”

The event was coordinated by Students for Hillary and co-sponsored by the Organizaton of Latino America Students and the College Democrats and GW Women in Business.

Cory Struble, a junior and president of the GW chapter of Students for Hillary, said the campaign was excited to do an event at GW.

“Seeing and learning from the manager of the top campaign is very rewarding for students that hold careers like this in their future,” Struble said.

“It surprises me how down-to-earth she is. Her experience as a both a devoted parent and campaigner show how she is really in touch with the American people,” freshman Lance Fiasconaro said.

“She makes the whole process seems like tough, demanding work, but very rewarding at the same time,” said freshman Michael Zucker. “She really gave me great insight to the true working of a political campaign.”

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