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Shop Talk: Obama’s 2012 Campaign Team Is Shaping Up

Courtesy White House
Katie Hogan, seen sitting at an Obama event, is becoming deputy press secretary for the 2012 campaign. She traveled the world with the president and helped wrangle the press.

Ben LaBolt will take over as press secretary on President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign next month, after his duties as communications director for Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s campaign are completed.

The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times first reported the news, which also included the addition of Katie Hogan to serve as Obama’s deputy press secretary.

LaBolt has worked for Obama since 2007, serving as press secretary in his Senate office before moving over as a campaign spokesman. He handled rapid response and is known for his aggressive style and often served as the point man for rebutting stories critical of Obama. LaBolt was press secretary on the 2006 campaign of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

He was a White House assistant press secretary until October, when Emanuel took him to Chicago, where Obama’s campaign will be based again.

Hogan, a Chicago native, also worked on the 2008 campaign and in the White House. She has been responsible for working directly with the campaign press corps and with the traveling press, helping them with everything from finding wireless networks to shouting “Last question!” at impromptu press conferences.

More Obama Team

Beyond LaBolt and Hogan, the rest of the Obama team has been taking shape for the past few months. Jim Messina, chief of staff on the 2008 campaign and most recently White House deputy chief of staff, will serve as campaign manager.

Deputy campaign managers are Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, formerly the Democratic National Committee executive director, and Julianna Smoot, a top fundraiser, 2008 veteran and former White House social secretary.

Down the line are Finance Director Rufus Gifford, Deputy Finance Director Elizabeth Lowery, National Field Director Jeremy Bird, Deputy National Field Director Marlon Marshall, Battleground States Director Mitch Stewart and Research Director Elizabeth Jarvis-Shean. Stewart and Bird have been the key players at Organizing for America, the spinoff of the Obama campaign housed at the DNC since the president took office.

New Keyes to the NRCC

The National Republican Congressional Committee recently hired Christyn Keyes as director of radio and TV. Keyes replaces Jon Thompson, who left to become press secretary at the Republican Governors Association.

Keyes was deputy press secretary on the campaign of Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) last year to take back the Cincinnati-based seat that Chabot lost in 2008. She then served as a legislative correspondent.

The Hudson, Ohio, native and Miami University graduate previously interned on the campaign of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), for Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) and at the Normandy Group.

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