As both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been declared presumptive nominees of their respective parties, each looks to pivot to the general election in pursuit of the presidency.
The Tried & True Formula
As a lifelong politician and prominent figure in the Democratic Party, Clinton’s team is comprised of seasoned professionals with a great deal of political experience under their belts. This includes campaign manager, Robby Mook, who also worked on Clinton’s presidential bid in 2008 against then Senator Obama.
Also onboard for Clinton’s Hillary for America team is communications adviser and director of rapid response, Christina Reynolds, in the key role she once provided for Barack Obama in 2008. Former Google executive, Stephanie Hannon, takes the role of chief technology officer, while Stephanie Palmeri, a White House veteran, acts as the campaign’s communications director. Brian Fallon, formerly of the Justice Department, has also taken over duties as her foremost spokesperson.
In the swing states of Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio, public affairs experts see the Clinton camp looking to elected officials to show their support. Polling at neck-and-neck numbers, the camp is hoping this support will effectively help tip the scales in Clinton’s favor.
A Stark Contrast
Beating out the 16 other Republican Party presidential hopefuls, Donald Trump is running a much different campaign. Consisting of a tight-knit group of advisers, led by convention manager Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign offers a stark contrast to the tested formula of Hillary for America, who draws heavily from Obama’s successful 2008 campaign.
Public affairs insiders note that Trump will likely add to his small group, having already appointed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a one-time opponent, to lead his transition team. Social media director and Trump confidant, Daniel Scavino, is in charge of Trump’s Twitter-driven campaign, though no communications director has been formally announced.
Keith Strubhar, SVP as MSLGroup, noted that bringing Christie onboard was an interesting choice, though ultimately good for the Trump campaign. As a successful Republican, in New Jersey, no less, Christie has the ability to reach out to a different demographic of Republican voters.
With much to be said about Donald Trump’s aversion to political correctness, Strubhar adds that Trump will likely bring on members to his staff who can reach out to minority groups. Polling far below Clinton in these demographics, Trump will need someone who can help salvage his image with minority voters. Experts say adding a former Republican hopeful like Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz could help round out his message, though this has yet to be seen.
Though Trump met with Speak of the House Paul Ryan in a bid to win his endorsement, Ryan was reluctant to officially endorse Trump, though experts agree he will eventually come onboard. As an anti-establishment candidate, however, Trump isn’t relying too much on the endorsement of Republican officials.
Though Trump and Clinton have already exchanged their fair share of jabs at one another, Dan Rene, SVP at Levick, suggests that Clinton should try to stay on message and run the campaign her way, setting her own agenda. Instead of making it about preventing a Trump presidency, she should focus more on why Clinton is the better choice as America’s leader.
The differences in candidates is clear, and as Hillary Clinton and the Democrats look to move the country forward, they see Trump’s vision for America as taking it in the opposite direction. With a lead over Trump in national polls, however, it’s up to voters to decide whether Clinton best represents American ideals or whether the country needs a new direction. Once the nominees are officially announced at their respective conventions in July, the race to the White House will likely take even more twists and turns as both campaigns move full-steam ahead.
Tim Aldiss writes for Four Broadgate.