The press team of the yet-to-be-announced Hillary Clinton campaign is growing, with the selection of Karen Finney as Strategic Communications Adviser and Senior Spokesperson and Oren Shur as Director of Paid Media, according to two sources familiar with personnel moves.
The positions will become official once Clinton announces her candidacy, expected this month.
Finney is a longtime member of Hillaryland, having served as Deputy Press Secretary to Clinton when she was First Lady, after working on Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign. Finney was a traveling press secretary on Hillary Clinton’s 2000 senate campaign and Communications Director at the Democratic National Committee from 2005-2009. As a contributor and host on MSNBC Finney became a prominent Democratic voice in politics, most recently appearing on CNN as a Democratic strategist.
Shur will oversee television, mail, radio and digital advertising. He served as Director of the Democratic Governors Association independent expenditures in 2014 cycle and managed Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s successful 2012 re-election campaign.
Clinton is due for a reset with the press. Her 2008 campaign was notoriously combative with reporters. She was more at ease with the press corps that covered her while she was Secretary of State, but she’s treated reporters with suspicion since her years as First Lady, where attention to controversies often left Clinton feeling assaulted by the media.
“My relationship with the press has been at times, shall we say, complicated,” Clinton acknowledged last month as she gave the keynote address at a gala honoring political reporting.
“I’m all about new beginnings,” she added, “A new grandchild, a new hairstyle, a new email account, a new relationship with the press.”
Clinton’s 2016 communications staff selections reflect an effort at a reset. Finney will join a roster of staff who have congenial relationships with reporters, led by Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, who most recently served in the same role in the Obama White House, and joined by lead spokesman Brian Fallon, and spokesman Jesse Ferguson, who is expected to handle daily communications with the press.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated which year Clinton had hired her campaign staff.