Five key Hillary Clinton players to watch

Five key Hillary Clinton players to watch
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNo Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way The dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat MORE is known for having perhaps the most loyal inner circle in politics, sometimes loyal to a fault. 

With the speculation of another Clinton bid for the presidency rising to a boil, The Hill looks at five insiders who promise to play a big role in the would-be campaign. 

Cheryl Mills 

Perhaps the most trusted aide in Hillaryland, Mills served as chief of staff and counselor during Clinton's tenure at the State Department, handling everything from personnel matters to management and operations at Foggy Bottom. 


The Stanford University Law graduate is close to both Clintons, having defended the former president during his impeachment trial and remaining close in recent years. But more than anything, Mills is known as a straight shooter, something the former first couple values. 

Those familiar with the Clinton operation say that if there's anyone who get the wheels greased in the lead-up to a potential presidential bid for Clinton, it will be Mills.

“She holds the keys the castle,” one former Hillary aide said. “If there's one singular go-to for the Secretary, she's the one.”

Minyon Moore

A senior adviser to Hillary Clinton during her 2008 run, expect Moore to play an even bigger role in a second campaign.

While she now works as a strategist at Dewey Square Group in Washington, she has a constant and direct line of communication with the former secretary of State on both professional and personal matters. 

Like Mills, Moore also has long-running ties to the former first couple. She served in the Clinton White House as assistant to the President and director of White House Office of Political Affairs as well as the White House public liaison director. 

Moore doesn't have an outsized personality, and prefers to stay behind the scenes more often than not. But those inside the operation say Moore would have a role in piecing together the initial phases of a campaign. 

“In terms of inner circle, Minyon easily falls into that pot,” a second former Hillary aide said. “She's always been fiercely loyal to both the president and the secretary. And I wouldn't expect that to change ever.”

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A relative newcomer to Hillaryland in 2007, Sullivan helped Clinton prepare for the Democratic primary debates, serving as an adviser for all-things policy.

But when she entered the State Department, the Minnesota native became her all-purpose senior aide where he not only ran Clinton’s Policy and Planning shop, but also dealt with communications and personnel issues. 

When Clinton traveled to 112 countries as Secretary of State, Sullivan was constantly at her side. So it only made sense that when Clinton left Foggy Bottom, he was instantly snatched up by the White House, where he served as Vice President Biden's national security adviser.

Sullivan left the White House recently to teach at Yale Law School this fall. But, Clinton insiders expect him to return if a Clinton campaign begins. 

Hillary Clinton thinks Sullivan has chops for his own White House run one day, as she told a crowd in 2012.

“I told my husband about this incredibly bright rising star — Rhodes Scholar, Yale Law School —  and my husband said, ‘Well, if he ever learns to play the saxophone, watch out,’” she said.

Maura Pally

When Hillary Clinton officially joined the Clinton Foundation in 2013, one of her first hires was Pally, who would serve as the executive director for her office at the Clinton Foundation.

Since then, Pally has run many of Clinton's initiatives and projects including 'No Ceilings,' focused on Women and Girls, and Too Small to Fail, an initiative helping the health of young children. 

Pally, like other Hillarylanders, began in the Clinton White House serving as a special assistant in the counsel’s office. She would go on to serve as deputy counsel during Hillary’s 2008 presidential run. 

“She is probably one of the most capable people on staff,” said one Clinton insider. “There is nothing Maura can't do. I think the secretary is well aware of that.”

Dan Schwerin

Among the youngest staffers on Team Clinton, Schwerin, an early thirty-something, got his start in Hillary's Senate office, serving as a press aide.

He went on to work on the 2008 presidential campaign before landing at the State Department as a speechwriter to Clinton. 

But Schwerin, who has inarguably spent more time with Clinton than any other aide this year, had perhaps his biggest task ahead of him when he helped Clinton pen her tome Hard Choices, which was released earlier this summer. 

Clinton insiders expect that will be just the beginning of Schwerin's trajectory up the Clinton ladder.