Schiliro to Join Obama Team

Posted July 2, 2008 at 2:35pm

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) is expected to tap Phil Schiliro, a longtime senior Congressional staffer and top aide to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), to lead his team of House and Senate liaisons, several Democratic sources confirmed Tuesday.

Sources say Schiliro, who formerly worked for Obama confidante and one-time Minority Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.), is expected to come on board within the coming days. His likely hiring runs contrary to earlier suggestions from Democrats close to the campaign that chief of staff to Illinois Rep. Melissa Bean (D), John Michael Gonzalez, would join the coordination effort.

Schiliro would spearhead a Hill liaison organization that includes Obama senior adviser and ex-Daschle aide Pete Rouse, Congressional Relations Coordinator Michael Robertson and another senior adviser, Michael Strautmanis.

Obama’s campaign didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment about Schiliro’s hiring.

Since clinching the nomination in early June, Obama has been working to put together a general election strategy that includes coordination with House and Senate Democrats. That effort is expected to be fully in place by early next week when Congress returns from the Fourth of July recess.