2020-07-17 00:35:56 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trumps troubled re-election bid entered
a new phase on Thursday after a leadership shake-up put a longtime Republican
political strategist in charge of resetting the campaign even as Trump refuses
to show more discipline.
Bill Stepiens promotion to campaign manager less than four months until the
Nov. 3 election is expected to sharpen the Trump teams focus on the strategy
needed to drive votes to the Republican incumbent in critical battleground
states, sources said.
Trump is trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden in both national and
battleground state opinion polls as voters heap blame on the president for his
handling of the coronavrius pandemic, race relations and economic recession.
Stepien has a deep understanding of data and how to use the information to
deploy resources and target voters, said Mike DuHaime, a Republican strategist
who worked with him on Chris Christies two successful gubernatorial runs in New
There are not that many campaign veterans in the upper ranks of the Trump
campaign, DuHaime said. Bill has worked on campaigns at every level. He can
dispassionately read numbers and know what to do with them.
But it is far from clear whether Stepien will be able to do what other senior
advisers to Trump could not: rein in an impetuous, undisciplined president who
has yet to produce a second-term agenda.
Stepiens elevation is expected to enhance the power of Trump son-in-law and
senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is playing a lead role in the re-election
effort, sources familiar with the situation said.
He is 100% a Jared guy, said one Trump adviser. Jared is still running the