Patti Solis Doyle recalls walking into the green room at CNN’s D.C. bureau in a “happy, giddy mood.”
She believed that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE, the candidate she had worked for as campaign manager in 2008 before stepping down, was about to make history.
But someone else sitting in the green room “was in a not-so-happy, giddy mood.” It was Corey Lewandowski, who had served as Trump’s campaign manager before stepping down earlier in the year.
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“Early on in the evening, I was trying to give him a pep talk,” Solis Doyle recalled. “We all believed that Hillary was going to win and Trump was going to lose, including Corey Lewandowski.”
As the night wore on and the state results came in, both operatives were “dialing for dollars,” as Solis Doyle put it, calling and texting anyone who could give them more information about the results coming in.
She said she began to worry when the campaign lost Florida. “But I was being told by folks on the campaign, ‘It’s okay. We’ve got Michigan. We’ve got Wisconsin.’ “
But it kept getting worse.
“Every time I got off the phone my face looked more and more dire and his looked more and more jubilant,” she recalled. “The tables had turned.”
She recalls a constant stream of analysts, including Democratic strategists Paul Begala and David Axelrod, floating in and out of the holding room as the results pointed to a loss. “Everyone was just stunned,” she said.
About 2 a.m., when it became clear that Clinton had lost, CNN sent Solis Doyle home for the evening.
Instead of Solis Doyle discussing the first woman shattering the highest glass ceiling as she had hoped, it was Lewandowski on the set, discussing Trump’s surprise win.
“When Trump ultimately won, I did not get the same pep talk,” she said.