Trump replaces Parscale as campaign manager

Source: Politico | July 15, 2020 | Alex Isenstadt

Bill Stepien, another of Trump’s top political aides, will take over as manager of his reelection less than four months from Election Day.

President Donald Trump has orchestrated a shakeup of his struggling reelection campaign with less than four months to go, elevating Bill Stepien to campaign manager and demoting Brad Parscale, who had been serving in that role.

Trump posted to Facebook Wednesday evening that Parscale will remain on the campaign as a senior adviser.

The move comes amid falling poll numbers and mounting worries over the president’s political prospects, with Trump himself expressing concern that he’s losing to Joe Biden. Parscale has been under the microscope in recent weeks, particularly following Trump’s half-capacity rally in Tulsa, Okla. Parscale was blamed internally for the rally after boasting beforehand that over 1 million people had signed up to attend. In private, the president repeatedly criticized Parscale for the episode.

Replacing Parscale is a classic move from the Trump playbook: The president replaced two campaign managers during his 2016 campaign before his surprise victory, and he has cycled through four chiefs of staff in less than four years in the White House.

But the type of attention-grabbing shakeup Trump has long favored doesn’t address the fundamental problems he faces with 111 days left until the election: Americans are dying, sick and out of work as coronavirus spreads throughout the nation, and voters have harshly judged his response to the pandemic, sending his popularity lower than it’s been for most of his presidency. Meanwhile, Biden has established wide leads in national polls and surveys of key swing states, threatening to not only flip back the Midwest but challenge Trump in longtime Republican strongholds in the South and Southwest, like Arizona and Georgia.

Trump began informing advisers of the shakeup Wednesday before making the announcement official. Replacing Parscale had been under consideration for about a month prior to Wednesday’s announcement, people close to the president said.

Senior advisers point out that, unlike past Trump campaign managers, Parscale has been asked to remain on the campaign. Parscale has spent the last decade working for the Trump organization, has been a favorite of the president’s family and was placed in the campaign manager role by Kushner.

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