Washington : President Donald Trump never stopped campaigning after winning the White House, and now he’s making fresh moves to establish his re-election effort. The president on Tuesday named former digital adviser Brad Parscale as campaign manager for his 2020 election bid, a sign he is prioritizing loyalty as he works to secure his own political future in what is shaping up to be a bruising 2018 midterm election cycle for the GOP. The rise of Parscale, largely unknown in politics until just two years ago, has been inextricably linked to Trump’s own political success.
In a statement, the Trump campaign said Parscale will lead “advanced planning” for the 2020 effort, and that the campaign also will be engaged in the midterm elections. The announcement turned heads on Capitol Hill, where Republicans have been lobbying the president for months to keep focused on the November 2018 contests _ with leaders and political aides warning Trump that Democrats could gain subpoena power over his administration if Republicans lose the House or Senate.
The campaign also announced that former deputy campaign manager Michael Glassner will serve as chief operating officer, while the president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, will serve as senior adviser. Trump, whose poll numbers have lagged recent predecessors, has left little doubt about his intention to seek re-election. He filed the paperwork to organize his re-election committee on Inauguration Day, held his first campaign rally on Feb. 18, 2017, and has mused publicly about potential Democratic challengers.
Parscale has long been close with the Trump family, a priority for the president as he begins planning his re-election strategy, according to a person familiar with campaign planning but not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions. The Austin-based digital consultant, an ally of Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, ran the Trump campaign’s digital operations in 2016, which included sophisticated social media targeting. Parscale entered the Trump orbit in 2011 by doing web design work for the Trump family _ including the president’s real estate firm and his son Eric Trump’s charity _ before Kushner hired him for the campaign. Parscale and Kushner helped craft the 2016 team’s digital strategy, which has been widely credited with helping Trump pull off his upset victory. Paracale also established close ties with Eric Trump and his wife, Lara, who in turn was hired by Parscale’s Texas-based digital firm.
Working with Kushner, Parscale and Katie Walsh _ then the chief of staff of the Republican National Committee _ served as de-facto campaign managers, overseeing nearly all aspects of campaign. In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” last year, Parscale described how a team that grew to 100 people created 50,000 to 60,000 ads on Facebook daily to reach different swaths of Trump supporters to maximize support and online donations.