Donald Trump will run for a second term as president and has named Brad Parscale, his 2016 digital strategist, as his campaign manager for 2020.
The naming of Mr Parscale as campaign manager marks the clearest step yet towards defining a framework and strategy for Mr Trump to try and secure a second term, even if the news he is intending to seek re-election may not come as a surprise to most, since he filed paperwork for his 2020 campaign all the way back on Inauguration Day.
Mr Parscale’s appointment to the top position in the re-election campaign apparatus is likely to indicate that Mr Trump plans on focusing heavily on online strategies to reach voters and get out the vote in three years. Soon after the announcement, Mr Parscale announced two other individuals had been chosen for top leadership positions in the campaign, including Mr Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump.
Mr Parscale first began working with the Trump Organisation in 2011, when his San Antonio firm Giles-Parscale was hired to build websites for the real estate company. He was later reported to be one of the first people Mr Trump called in 2015 after he first announced he was running for President.
At the time, Mr Parscale was known for providing Mr Trump with quality websites at a price point that other tech firms in New York City could not match, according to a 2015 article in the San Antonio Business Journal.
During the 2016 campaign, Mr Parscale was also in charge of overseeing the campaign’s digital media strategy and its online fundraising campaigns. Mr Trump ‘s campaign ultimately raised just over $333m in 2016, 26 percent of which came from small individual donors, according to the Centre for Responsive Politics.
Mr Parscale’s Twitter account lists him as an advisor to Mr Trump’s presidential campaign, though it is unclear when he last updated the profile. He frequently tweets and retweets articles related to the ongoing scandal surrounding Russian hacking of the 2016 election. Mr Parscale, like the President, consistently argues that Russia’s attempts to influence the campaign through social media bots did not sway the election in Mr Trump’s favour.
The choice in campaign manager shows that Mr Trump’s 2020 campaign will rely heavily on using social media and other digital platforms to spread Mr Trump’s message. That’s a subject that Mr Parscale himself recently bragged about by saying that he thinks the Trump 2016 campaign digital strategy was much more effective than that of their Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.