Clinton Campaign Gets A New C.O.O.

A major hire in Hillaryland.

Howard Paster, formerly the chief Capitol Hill liaison for President Clinton in the White House and a long-time informal campaign adviser, will serve as the campaign's chief operating officer, two Democrats with knowledge of the move said today.

Mr. Paster, 61, will report to campaign manager Maggie Williams directly and will be responsible for carrying out her orders

He will coordinate the campaign's various operational departments -- scheduling, press, liaison, communications, political, field. (Jessica O'Connell, the campaign's national operations director, resigned this week.)

Williams announced Paster's addition to senior staff this morning.

It was in part because of Paster's advice that Mark Penn, now Clinton's chief strategist, was brought into the Clinton inner circle ahead of the former president's re-election. Paster is a senior executive at WPP and supervises its A-list marketing companies, including Burson-Marsteller, of which Penn is CEO.

Clinton Kremlinologists were buzzing this morning at the news that the campaign hired, for the first time since 2000, a second pollster. Geoff Garin was brought aboard to survey Indiana and other states.

A Clinton spokesperson confirmed the news but declined to comment.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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