Hillary Clinton has not yet officially announced her presidential campaign, but the wheels are ready to be swiftly in motion when she does. Over the past few months, Clinton’s been steadily building out a team of advisers, strategists and staffers for her likely campaign, with most of the top spots already filled.
A major focus over the past few weeks has been to build up Clinton’s communication team. The handling of the email controversy served as a signal to many in her inner-circle that a more robust communications team was much needed – and fast.
In the coming weeks the following people will be in place to manage communications for her campaign, sources familiar with the moves tell ABC News.
Jennifer Palmieri, the current director of communications at the White House, will take on the top role as communications director. Palmieri’s last day at the White House is Friday. She starts working for the Clinton team on Monday.
Kristina Schake will serve as the deputy communications director. Schake was formerly Michelle Obama's communications director. She has already started advising Clinton.
Brian Fallon will be Clinton’s press secretary, with deputy Jesse Ferguson. Fallon is the current spokesperson for Attorney General Eric Holder. Ferguson goes to the Clinton team from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee where he was spokesperson.
Clinton’s current spokesman Nick Merrill will remain on the Clinton team as a spokesman.
In addition, John Podesta, a longtime counselor to Obama, and Robby Mook, a top Democratic operative, have already been brought on board Team Clinton in senior roles: Podesta as campaign chairman and Mook as campaign manager. Former Obama operatives, Joel Benenson and Jim Margolis, have also been advising Clinton: Benenson as chief pollster and Margolis as media strategist.
The Clinton campaign, when it comes, will be based in Brooklyn, N.Y. And the official announcement is expected in April.
Despite all this, Clinton’s spokesman, Nick Merrill, still insists Clinton has not yet made a decision about running.
“She is currently ‘testing the waters’ as the Federal Elections Commission calls it,” Merrill said in a statement to ABC News. “Like anyone considering running for office, she has the support of many individuals who have agreed to volunteer their time to help her make this decision.”
According to campaign finance experts, presumptive candidates are allowed to take in donations during the “testing the waters” phase. Clinton’s spokesman would not comment on whether Clinton has started to do that yet.