Thursday 13 December 2018

Digital guru 'to run Trump 2020 re-election campaign'

Brad Parscale has so far operated under the radar. Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster
Brad Parscale has so far operated under the radar. Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster

Rozina Sabur

US President Donald Trump will shortly announce he is to run for re-election in 2020 and will name Brad Parscale, the so-called "digital guru", as his campaign manager.

Largely unknown, Mr Parscale is thought to be one of the driving forces behind Mr Trump's 2016 presidential bid and has been praised for a novel approach to online advertising.

He has now been tasked with running Mr Trump's re-election campaign, according to the website Drudge Report.

Mr Parscale has known and worked for the Trump family since 2011, when he was approached to work on a web project for one of The Trump Organisation's luxury property businesses. He has since designed web pages for Eric Trump's foundation, Melania Trump's skincare line and Ivanka Trump's fashion brand.

He is still relatively new to politics but was credited with playing a significant role in Mr Trump's successful 2016 White House bid as the campaign's digital media director. Following the campaign's success, he was described as the Trump team's "secret weapon" for his skilled use of Facebook, Twitter and Google, with an online strategy that caught the attention of Mr Trump's core voters.

"Most of the major vendors - like Twitter, Google, Facebook - didn't know I existed," Mr Parscale said at a Google event last year, recalling his campaign team's humble origins.

"I got random phone calls in the night: 'Hey, are you the guy doing the digital stuff for Trump?' I didn't have any data scientists. I didn't have the great people I had later in the campaign. I had to do, pretty much, home-based marketing efforts to try to maximise our effort across social media platforms."

Mr Parscale's favourite adverts from the campaign include a 30-second Facebook video of Mr Trump speaking straight into the camera which has been viewed more than a million times, and an animated video portraying Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as a "Wall Street puppet".

With his full beard and college basketball background, the 42-year-old prides himself on standing out from Washington's typical political campaigners. Like many of Mr Trump's supporters, he said he feels misunderstood and under- appreciated by the political establishment.

He has also complained about being labelled a racist, which he believes is partly down to being judged by his hairstyle and long beard.

Mr Parscale has been based in San Antonio, Texas, for a number of years and based his Trump campaign work in the city. Mr Trump's daughter-in-law Lara now works for Mr Parscale's marketing company, Giles-Parscale.

Irish Independent

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