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Clinton Campaign Manager Steps Down

(CBS)
From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

CBS News has learned that Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, is stepping down. She will be replaced by senior advisor Maggie Williams. Solis Doyle will remain on staff as a senior advisor.

Campaign spokesman Mo Elleithee said Solis Doyle was "not asked to step down" and when asked if this had to do with her losses in Louisiana, Washington state and Nebraska yesterday, he said "no."

"This will be a seamless transition."

Williams, Clinton's chief of staff when she was First Lady, was brought on after her third place finish in Iowa and rumors started that there was a shakeup in the works. The campaign denied those rumors at the time and Clinton's win in New Hampshire quelled any speculation of a shakeup until now.

In a letter to campaign staff, Solis Doyle wrote, "I have been proud to manage this campaign, and prouder still to call Hillary my friend for more than sixteen years. I know that she will make a great President."

"This has already been the longest Presidential campaign in the history of our nation, and one that has required enormous sacrifices from all of us and our families," she continued.

"This week Maggie will begin to assume the duties of campaign manager. I will serve as a senior adviser to Hillary and the campaign and travel with Hillary from time to time on the road. Maggie is a remarkable person and I am confident that she will do a fabulous job."

"Although I will continue to see you all at headquarters, I would be remiss if I didn't thank each of you for your dedication, excellence, and passion over the last year."

"You are the best campaign staff in the history of Presidential politics and I am grateful to each of you for your hard work and friendship."

In a written statement Clinton said, "Patti Solis Doyle has done an extraordinary job in getting us to this point - within reach of the nomination - and I am enormously grateful for her friendship and her outstanding work."

"I am lucky to have Maggie on board and I know she will lead our campaign with great skill towards the nomination."

Meantime, her campaign confirmed today that Clinton made a hush-hush trip to North Carolina on Thursday to meet with former candidate John Edwards. Obama's campaign wouldn't comment on whether he has met with him in person, though Obama has indicated that he and Edwards have spoken via telephone.

Both Clinton and Obama have been talking up Edwards on the stump recently and with the race as tight as it is, both would welcome his endorsement.