AP source: Clinton planner joins NYC mayor's staff

By Sara Kugler
Associated Press Writer / January 26, 2010

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NEW YORK—The bare-knuckle media strategist who advised Hillary Rodham Clinton and helped re-elect Mayor Michael Bloomberg is joining the billionaire mayor's administration.

A person close to Bloomberg told The Associated Press on Monday that Howard Wolfson will advise the mayor on communications, policy and political strategy. The person insisted on anonymity because the announcement hadn't been made.

Wolfson was Clinton's media strategist for her presidential campaign and U.S. Senate runs. He's known for his aggressive style, and his addition to Bloomberg's administration signals that Bloomberg is not planning to tread lightly in his third term.

Wolfson's connections to national politics are likely to revive questions about whether Bloomberg may still have White House aspirations. The mayor, a Republican-turned-independent, explored the idea of running in 2008 and ultimately decided against it. But the buzz about his potential candidacy served to elevate his profile and generate interest in what he said on the national stage.

Wolfson was one of three staffers on Bloomberg's most recent mayoral re-election campaign who received $400,000 bonuses at the end of the election. He's expected to start in March.

Wolfson and a spokesman for Bloomberg declined to comment Monday.