Key Obama official moving to Clinton

White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri is planning to leave the White House later this spring, and is expected to take a role in Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE's presidential campaign.

The announcement of her departure comes on the same day that Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to the president who previously held the communications director job, announced he would leave the administration by mid-March.

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Palmieri, who served in the press shop for former President Bill Clinton, has close ties to White House counselor John Podesta, who is expected to leave his role within weeks to take a leadership position in Clinton's presidential campaign.  She’s well liked by the media and is a veteran of Democratic politics, having worked for John Edwards’ presidential campaign and the press secretary of the Democratic National Committee.

A White House official acknowledged the dual departures were “significant,” but said there was “value in bringing in new, energized staff with fresh ideas and new perspectives.”

The official cast the departures as an opportunity for President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe bully who pulls the levers of Trump's mind never learns US-China space cooperation is up in the air more than ever GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level MORE and his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, to build a new communications infrastructure “specifically designed to work on the president’s goals for the next 18 months in a rapidly-changing media environment.”

“Instead of filling jobs as one-offs, this timing presents an opportunity to build a cohesive team that is expressly designed to achieve and implement the president’s priorities for the fourth quarter of his presidency,” the official said.

Still, the departures seem to underscore the extent to which focus, even inside the West Wing, is shifting to Hillary Clinton’s fledgling campaign. 

There has been significant speculation about the timing of an announcement, and who will help run the campaign of the former Secretary of State. In addition to Podesta and Palmieri, Obama campaign pollster Joel Benenson and campaign media adviser Jim Margolis are expected to be involved in the leadership structure of her campaign.

Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short used the moves to cast Clinton as a continuation of the Obama presidency.

“It’s getting clearer with each Obama official leaving for Hillary Clinton’s campaign that the sole purpose of her candidacy is to continue his failed policies under another name,” Short said. “Voters overwhelmingly don’t want a third term for President Obama’s liberal agenda, but that’s what Hillary Clinton intends to give them.”