2020 Campaign

Trump Hires a Campaign Manager for 2020

President Trump has hired Brad Parscale, the digital media director of his 2016 campaign, to run his re-election bid, CNN reports.

Jonathan Swan: “This decision reflects Jared Kushner’s continued influence inside Trumpworld. Nobody has promoted Brad Parscale more than Jared, and during the campaign he was Parscale’s biggest advocate. It also shows that Trump wants somebody adept at digital campaigning to run his campaign.”

Harris Positions Herself for a White House Bid

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) “is increasingly positioning herself for a what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary for the White House in 2020,” The Hill reports.

“The former California attorney general, who is just at the beginning of her second year in the Senate, is taking positions that could endear herself with the Democratic base while allowing her to stand out from a group of Democrats who might seek the progressive mantle.”

RNC Pays Trump Campaign’s Rent at Trump Tower

“Soon after the RNC came under pressure for paying legal bills for President Trump and his eldest son in the special counsel’s Russia probe, it started covering expenses for the president’s re-election campaign,” CNBC reports.

“The RNC is using campaign funds to pay Trump’s company more than $37,000 a month in rent, and to pay thousands of dollars in monthly salary to Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew, John Pence, party officials confirmed this week. The rent pays for office space in the Trump Tower in New York for the staff of Trump’s re-election campaign. John Pence is the Trump campaign’s deputy executive director.”

The arrangement “is highly unusual but legal, and it appears the RNC disclosed it correctly.”

Kasich Gears Up for Possible Run in 2020

Gov. John Kasich’s (R) inner circle “is gearing up for a possible presidential run in 2020 — actively weighing the prospect of a Republican primary challenge to President Donald Trump against the feasibility of a long-shot general election campaign as an independent,” Politico reports.

“And there’s one consideration driving their thinking perhaps more than any other: what some of his advisers consider the very real, maybe even likely, possibility that Trump doesn’t run again — by choice or not — or that the president becomes so politically hobbled by late next year that the political landscape fundamentally shifts in Kasich’s favor. That’s one reason Kasich has yet to decide whether to pursue an independent bid or a primary challenge.”

Biden Moves Closer to a Presidential Bid

Former Vice President Joe Biden “is tiptoeing toward a potential presidential run in 2020, even broaching the possibility during a recent gathering of longtime foreign policy aides,” the AP reports.

“He said he was keeping his 2020 options open, considering it a real possibility. He insisted he had made no decision, and didn’t need to yet, according to five people who either attended the meeting or were briefed on it by those who did.”

“Biden also expressed interest in bringing those in the room onto his team if he decides to launch a campaign. At the same time, he gave them an out: There would be no hard feelings if they decided they were content in their current roles outside of government, said the people, who demanded anonymity to discuss a private meeting.”

Garcetti Deserves a National Hearing

George Will profiles Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) as a possible presidential candidate, who he says “is a generation younger than some progressives’ pinups (Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden). And living far from Washington, he is positioned to deplore the Beltway, within which his party has been concentrating power for a century.”

“California’s presidential primary, which usually has been a June irrelevancy, will occur in March 2020. This might benefit Kamala Harris, the state’s freshman U.S. senator, too. Anyway, Garcetti deserves a hearing. America could do worse, it usually does and in 33 months it probably will.”

Kasich Mulls Independent Bid for President

Gov. John Kasich’s (R) “brand is built around the idea of ‘two paths’ for the Republican Party: one for center-right pragmatists like him, the other for flamethrowers like Donald Trump,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“But as the Ohio governor considers a rematch with Trump in 2020, he is weighing two more-tactical paths. Does he challenge Trump, the sitting president, in primaries where Kasich won’t find much institutional GOP support? Or does he leave the party, go down a route littered with ballot-access hurdles and fundraising challenges, and run as an independent?”

“Sources close to Kasich’s political team have told BuzzFeed News in recent weeks that both options are in play.”

Will Biden Run in 2020?

“Joe Biden has started recruiting top donors for his PAC’s finance committee — but some of them are resisting signing on, wary that he’ll decide again not to pull the trigger on a presidential bid and that their money might be better spent elsewhere,” Politico reports.

“They want to see clear moves that his own campaign is underway before writing him more checks. That’s not coming anytime soon: though Biden has mapped out ambitious plans to help Democrats running in this year’s midterms, he hasn’t set a timeline for deciding on a 2020 bid, let alone decided to run, according to four people who’ve spoken with him.”

RNC May Block Ted Cruz-Like Candidates In 2020

BuzzFeed News: “Ted Cruz’s micro-level attention to delegate math in 2016 kept him alive longer in the race for the Republican presidential nomination and prompted eventual winner Donald Trump to stew over what he called a ‘crooked deal’ and ‘rigged system.'”

“The kind of insider politicking that Cruz mastered at state caucuses and conventions now appears to be the target of a rule change the Republican National Committee is exploring. Under a proposal discussed this week during the party’s winter meetings, states that hold primaries for rank-and-file voters — rather than those less accessible contests — could receive extra delegates to the national convention.”

Trump Rips Into Kasich

President Trump tore into Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), a GOP rival and potential 2020 primary challenger, at a RNC dinner last night, Politico reports.

“The president went after the Ohio governor several times by name, according to three people who were present. The president mocked Kasich, who is being termed-out of office and fell short in the 2016 GOP primary, and described him as one of his loudest and most relentless critics.”

No Path For Trump Primary Challenger In Early States

BuzzFeed News: “Striking a blow to President Trump’s reelection chances almost certainly would require an upset victory or better-than-imagined showing — think Eugene McCarthy chasing LBJ in 1968 — in New Hampshire or one of two other key early voting states: Iowa and South Carolina.”

“But would-be Trump challengers won’t find many friendly GOP leaders there. In interviews this week at the Republican National Committee’s winter meetings, top party officials from these states pledged allegiance to Trump and questioned why anyone would bother to try to wrestle the nomination from him.”