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Clinton Campaign Considers Shake-Up

February 9, 2016, 1:03 AM UTC
Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton Holds Campaign Events With Bill And Chelsea Clinton
Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

There’s trouble in Hillaryland.

Frustrated by a razor-thin victory margin in Iowa and poor odds in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton is reportedly planning a staffing and strategy shake-up. According to Politico, the campaign is likely to add more staff and attempt to focus on a clearer message.

The Clinton campaign had reportedly been planning to reorganize staff after Clinton’s won the narrowest victory in the history of Iowa’s Democratic caucuses. But with Vermont senator Bernie Sanders leading by a 2-1 margin in New Hampshire polls, the shake-up is reportedly happening sooner. “The Clintons are not happy, and have been letting all of us know that,” a source told Politico.

Clinton aides are probably experiencing some deja vu: Around this time in Clinton’s 2008 campaign, after a disappointing third-place finish in Iowa, Clinton was piling on layers of veteran advisers into the campaign and considering a massive reorganization. A win in New Hampshire gave her staffers some respite, but only some: by mid-February, campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle was fired for a poor Super Tuesday showing.

The first Clinton campaign was mismanaged from the start, with Clinton allies competing against one another and less-established campaign staffers for control. Advisers squabbled over whether Clinton should exude Thatcher-like strength (remember the “3 a.m.” ad?) or maternal warmth (see: tears in New Hampshire). And as tensions mounted, staffers resorted to e-mail leaks—from petty messages about parking hierarchies to debates over Iowa ground strategy—to exert control. One strategist stood up on a chair and screamed at the rest of the staff before quitting. The 2008 campaign was bungled so badly that, when Clinton declared her candidacy seven years later, Bloomberg’s cover rang this pessimistic opening note:

In fact, the infighting had begun even before Bloomberg started its tally. In 2014, ABC News obtained a cache of emails that provided a glimpse into Clinton’s presumed campaign manager Robby Mook’s communications with friends and former colleagues, who called themselves the “Mook Mafia.” The emails, which were meant to embarrass the incumbent staffer, showed Mook making inside jokes and encouraging his contacts to “smite Republicans mafia-style.” Those emails were leaked by a fellow Clinton supporter who didn’t want Mook to take control of the campaign.

Mook was chosen to be Clinton’s campaign manager despite the e-mails, and he seems to have led a relatively drama-free operation so far. The only leaks have been the court-mandated email dumps by the State Department from Clinton’s time in office. But now, Politico reports that the forecasted shake-up might generate distrust between Clinton and her campaign staff, many of whom she hired from Obama’s 2008 campaign.

Fortune has reached out to the Clinton campaign for comment, and this story will be updated with their response. Meanwhile, campaign chair John Podesta took to Twitter to tear down Politico’s allegations:

True or not, Clinton has several months to go before can demonstrate that she can run a well-managed presidential campaign. The rumored shake-up might be just the first cracks.