Is Trump's campaign manager's ‘magical internet machine’ really as magnificent as some Republicans claim it is?

Is Trump's campaign manager's ‘magical internet machine’ really as magnificent as some Republicans claim it is?
Brad Parscale/

One of the Republican strategists who the Democratic National Committee is keeping a very close eye on in 2020 is Brad Parscale, President Donald Trump’s campaign manager — as it’s crucial to stay on top of the moves Parscale will make in the hope of defeating former Vice President Joe Biden (the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee) and getting Trump reelected. Parscale has often been hailed as a digital guru on the far right, but Never Trump conservative Jonathan V. Last — in an article for The Bulwark — expresses some doubts about Parscale’s effectiveness.

“Maybe Trump Digital really is a Death Star,” Last writes. “But that’s a non-falsifiable proposition. The digital operation is too sprawling, too micro-targeted, and too evanescent for anyone to really have a handle on how effective it is.”

If Parscale is so effective, Last wonders, why has Biden been performing so well in recent polls?

“All you can really do is look at the polls,” Last explains. “And as (CNN’s) Harry Enten wrote last weekend, Biden has the largest and steadiest lead any challenger has ever held against an incumbent. As in: ever.”

Trump recently had a temper tantrum when Parscale warned that he was trailing Biden in many polls; Trump went into kill-the-messenger mode and was furious that Parscale even brought up the subject.

“I’m sure Big Brad will tell the boss that without his magical internet machine, he’d be losing to Biden by even more right now — and for all I know, that’s true,” Last asserts. “But I kind of suspect it’s not.”

Last, in his article, isn’t as critical of Parscale’s campaign skills as Democratic strategist James Carville — who, during a May 6 appearance on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour,” told host Brian Williams and liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson that Trump’s campaign is a “crumbling empire” and that Parscale is merely an opportunist who wants to get as much money from Trump as he can before the empire crumbles.

Carville asserted, “They were going to lose before this hit. They’re just going to lose worse now, and they all know it. And they’re all getting profiles written about themselves. I saw Blaise Pascal, the campaign manager — whatever his name is — all over the New York Times Magazine posing for pictures. I mean, the whole thing is gone.”

Last isn’t nearly as stridently dismissive of Parscale as Carville. Yet like Carville, he questions whether or not Parscale is really the political miracle worker some on the far right consider him to be. And Last wonders if Trump will fire Parscale because of his poll numbers.

“If Trump keeps Parscale around even as he lags Biden in the polls,” Last writes, “it’s a sign that the president no longer believes that he is enough to get his voters out on his own and that he’s hostage to whatever sales pitch he bought from Parscale. It’s a good reminder that inside every con man is a mark.”

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