President Donald Trump is creating a massive re-election team that attempts to wed the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants nature of the 2016 campaign with a more traditional effort, Politico reported Tuesday night.
The re-elect organization, which places campaign manager Brad Parscale at the point position, prioritizes a digital and data-focused strategy, the report noted, citing sources top Trump aides. Trump’s team has hired more 30 full-time staffers and is creating a gigantic surrogate network.
“While ultimately successful, the campaign was primarily staffed with inexperienced and untested political operatives and often lacked a cohesive organizational structure,” Michael Glassner, an operative who serves on the re-elect campaign, told reporters, noting how different 2020 will be from 2016.
He added: “For the 2020 reelection, we have a vastly different operation.” The Trump team’s decision to implement a more traditional campaign effort comes as Democrats continue lining up to take on the president. (RELATED: Trump Campaign Responds To Sen. Warren’s Presidential Announcement)
More than 10 Democrats have announced or opened exploratory committees to help determine if they want to officially run. Big names like Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand are joining the likes of unknowns like Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and Andrew Yang, a young entrepreneur from New York.
Others are expected to announce their intent, including politicians like former Vice President Joe Biden, and Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont also announced he is taking another shot at the White House after putting on a spirited 2016 race. They’ll have to contend with a 2020 Republican campaign that mixes the chaos Trump imbibes with a top-to-bottom campaign.
“He’s a different kind of president and you have to build a structure that supports him in a tough race,” John McLaughlin, a Republican pollster who advised the Trump 2016 campaign, told reporters, adding: “You have to be more flexible and you have to be more ready for things that are unexpected.”
He added: “Now we’re an incumbent. But he’s really still a nontraditional president.”
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