According to a report in the Washington Post, Donald Trump has ceded a great deal of control of his 2020 campaign to his son-in-law Jared Kushner and that has GOP operatives worried because they still consider him a political neophyte who is — even after over 2 years in the White House — way over his head.
The Post reports, “Kushner, 38, is the hidden hand of Trump’s 2020 campaign — rarely glimpsed in its Northern Virginia headquarters but signing off behind the scenes on everything from spending to digital initiatives to top-level hires.”
Kushner has reportedly had his finger in everything including choosing digital and media vendors for the president’s re-election campaign as well as who to hire, personally recommending the campaign bring on Kayleigh McEnany as its national press secretary.
However, his stewardship of the president’s campaign, that could also dictate the fortune of down-ticket candidates, has some worried.
“Kushner’s campaign duties are the latest in a mushrooming list of high-profile responsibilities, from working to fashion an immigration compromise on Capitol Hill to being tasked with attempting to deliver Middle East peace. Neither has had much success, making him a punchline among those in Washington skeptical of his portfolio and his abilities,” the report states.
On that point, Stuart Stevens, a GOP strategist working with former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, cut right to the chase when discussing Kushner’s abilities.
“I see no reason to believe that he knows anything about politics,” Stevens said, while making a point that it was Kushner “who believed that Trump’s 2017 firing of FBI Director James B. Comey was ‘a good move'”
“An entitled son-in-law that has power because who he is married to is not exactly new,” Stevens snarked. “How many businesses have been run into the ground with such a strategy?”
Another GOP strategist with ties to the White House marveled at the responsibilities heaped on the husband of Ivanka Trump despite the fact that over two years ago he was working as a property developer in his family’s business.
“He’s like a roving chief of staff,” he explained while asking that his name not be used “He can do whatever he wants, he can be in any meeting he wants, and everyone is going to snap when he calls. He’s everywhere other than putting a man on the moon and curing cancer.”
For his part, Kushner gave himself high marks for his involvement in the 2016 campaign, saying, “We did a lot of unconventional things, and I think the things that have worked, we doubled down and tripled down on.”
The Post reports that his view is not universally held by those who are unimpressed with him.
“Some complain Kushner has installed loyalists in the campaign to be his eyes and ears — or, in the words of one White House official, ‘has trip-wired it with people who are in his orbit or in his debt.’ Others say he brags about having insight into particular groups such as Evangelicals, when he does not,” the Post reports.
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