Patti Solis Doyle
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Patti Solis Doyle

Political Commentator, CNN

A daughter of Mexican immigrants who worked her way up from one of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods to serve as a top advisor to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, Patti Solis Doyle is a campaign strategist, known for her candor and humor, with extraordinary insight into presidential campaigns, the rise of women and minorities in politics and issues affecting Hispanic Americans.

2016 Presidential Campaign – What the Hell Happened?! What Do We Do Now?!

The 2016 Presidential Campaign was remarkable in many ways. Democrats nominated their first woman (and a former First Lady), and Republicans nominated their first Reality TV star. Each side spent about $1 billion, but no one knows whether that money actually did anything. After rallying white working class voters in 2008, Hillary lost them in 2016.  Everyone thought she had it in the bag up until 8 pm on Election Night. In the end, 2.4 million voters chose to leave the Presidential ballot blank, rather than vote for either candidate.

Patti Solis Doyle, a democratic strategist, CNN Political contributor, and manager of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, will cover key aspects of the presidential campaign that stunned a nation. Polls were wrong. Endorsements meant nothing. Tweets drove the news, and everyone blamed the media. Patti will help separate the drama over hacked emails; Access Hollywood outtakes; Comey letter; Wikileaks; and Russian Interference from the long-term economic, demographic and political trends that drove voter anger.

Months into a completely unorthodox Presidency, Patti will also explain what voters, media, and each Party can do now. Should Democrats play ball with Trump? Can Trump compromise? Can Washington figure out how to give voters what they want?

Will A Woman Ever Be Elected President?

The rules are different for a woman candidate, whether she’s running for sheriff, governor or president. Voters are more likely to see her as honest, but they also care a lot more about her appearance. And they’re more likely to ask her how much time she spends with her children than they are to ask her opponent about the time he spends with his.

A woman can follow these rules – and encourage the very stereotypes she’s probably trying to break. Or, she can resist – and lose votes. It would be funny, if half the people voting weren’t women, too.

Twenty-six years ago, Hillary Clinton visited child care centers, while her husband shook hands outside factory gates. Today, “soft” issues, like child care and paid leave, matter. Twenty-two years ago, she travelled to Beijing to declare that “women's rights are human rights” – and, somehow, it was controversial. Today, even her critics appreciate the power of “soft power” diplomacy she championed. Seventeen years ago, she ran for Senate, formally launching the political pantsuit movement. And, last year, her critics accused her of shouting and her fans wore “nasty woman” t-shirts to the polls.

Thanks, in many ways, to Hillary, our candidates, campaigns, and priorities are changing. But they’re not changing fast enough – and they are more complicated than ever. How did a candidate who made hours of offensive on-air jokes with Howard Stern, and who was later caught on tape bragging about groping women, win more votes from white women?

Patti Solis Doyle has worked in politics for 25 years, including 17 years as one of Hillary Clinton’s closest advisors (and the manager of her first presidential campaign).  Using examples from pivotal campaigns and Hillary Clinton’s career from Arkansas’ first lady to Democratic presidential nominee, Patti demonstrates how gender plays out in campaigns and government from the perspective of candidates and voters.

Women and Minorities in Politics

What’s next for women and minorities in politics? 

An African-American just ended two terms in the White House with broad public support, record job growth, and the Nobel Peace Prize. We broke records for women in Congress; Hispanics continued their rise as a political and economic power; and a majority of presidential voters and nearly every editorial board in America seemed to agree that we are “stronger together.”

On the other hand, President Trump won by running the most racially- and ethnically-charged election of our lifetime, calling for border walls, deportation squads, and “extreme vetting.” During the primary, his opponents and the media assumed attacking Mexicans would hurt Trump, but it helped. In fact, it was probably decisive. Meanwhile, charges of sexual harassment from 11 different women, hours of ugly on-air jokes with Howard Stern, and Trump’s Access Hollywood outtakes about groping women were not enough to stop him from winning white women voters.

Which of these two sets of facts matters more? Which tells us more about the future? How do we reconcile long-term trends in voter registration, voter identification, and population growth with the profound anger and economic anxiety that shaped this past election?

Patti Solis Doyle is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from college. She began her political career canvassing Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods and working in Chicago City Hall. In 1991, she was among the first staffers on President Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign. For 17 years, she served as one of Hillary Clinton’s closest political advisors, helping run her two senate campaigns and serving as campaign manager for her 2008 presidential campaign. She later managed Joe Biden’s vice presidential campaign and served as a surrogate for the Obama/Biden re-election campaign. She now serves as a political commentator for CNN. She brings a personal perspective to where we are going based on where we have been.

Meet Patti Solis Doyle

A daughter of Mexican immigrants who worked her way up from one of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods to serve as a top advisor to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, Patti Solis Doyle is a campaign strategist, known for her candor and humor, with extraordinary insight into presidential campaigns, the rise of women and minorities in politics and issues affecting Hispanic Americans.

As a top advisor to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, Patti Solis Doyle has served on eight of the most historic campaigns of the last 25 years. She delivers a candid, practical and irreverent perspective on how the campaigns of 2016 will be won, from the latest polls and headlines, to the underlying economic and demographic trends shaping the race. Patti provides a highly personal perspective on the two constituencies most likely to decide elections next year: women and Hispanics. When Patti started in politics, it was a man’s game, and campaigns tended to focus on issues that mattered most to white, middle-class voters. "Women’s issues," like family leave, were delegated to the candidates’ spouses, and Hispanic voters rarely decided a race. Twenty-five years later, Hispanics are America’s fastest-growing voting block and a deciding factor in nine states. Women are the principal breadwinners in 40% of American households, and our economy depends increasingly on helping them prosper in the workforce. Patti’s career helps tell the story of how these two groups emerged as political powers. A child of Mexican immigrants, Patti prospered in "old school" politics, earning scholarships to Northwestern, promising jobs at Chicago City Hall and an early role on Bill Clinton’s improbable campaign for President. But by working with Hillary Clinton through two terms in the White House, two senate campaigns and her presidential bid, Patti was part of a small team of women who recruited women and Hispanic candidates and championed policies that helped these two constituencies. During the 2008 general election, Patti continued this work with the Obama for America campaign as campaign manager for vice presidential nominee Joe Biden. During the 2012 election, Patti served as a senior advisor to the Obama-Biden campaign, focusing on women and Hispanic voters.

Patti is president of Solis Strategies, a strategic communications firm, and co-founded Vendor Assistance Program, LLC (VAP), a financial services firm that works with state and local governments. She serves as a political commentator on CNN. She also works with Hispanic service organizations and student organizations across the U.S. Hispanic Business magazine named Patti one of America’s "100 Most Influential Hispanics." She has also received Hispanic magazine’s Latinas of Excellence Award and Siempre Mujer magazine’s Siempre Inspiran Award.

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