Accuracy in Media

Marie Claire recently published a piece highlighting the dedication, endless hours and work ethic it takes to work as a female operative behind the 2020 presidential campaigns, but left out one major campaign: Donald Trump’s.

Marie Claire reporter Laura Bassett spotlighted senior female campaign staffers working for Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar’s campaign — but completely omitted major GOP power players.

Whether readers (or the media) agree, facts are facts. Trump’s re-election campaign is anchored by women, and as the campaign inches closer to 2020, the number of GOP operatives will only increase.

Bassett reported that Castro’s campaign manager, Maya Rupert, is only the third black woman in history to run a presidential campaign but made no mention of White House Senior Counsel Kellyanne Conway, who was the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign.

Trump’s team has already hired women in key positions: Kayleigh McEnany as Trump campaign national press secretary, Erin Perrine as Trump campaign deputy communications director, Merecedes Schlapp in Trump campaign strategic communication, and Ronna McDaniel,  spokesperson, and grassroots coalitions senior aide, and Republican National Committee chairwoman.

“The liberal elite, establishment media love to ignore the hardworking women of Team Trump and the Republican Party because it doesn’t fit their narrative of what they want the President and party to look like,” Perrine exclusively told Accuracy in Media.

McEnany, Perrine, Schlapp and McDaniel are not the only female senior staff helping oversee the Trump re-election campaign.

Women for Trump is headed by senior adviser Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, who worked on his 2016 campaign. She is known for hitting the TV circuit promoting Trump’s accomplishments and campaign agenda.

Political operative Sandra Benitez, who previously worked for the RNC, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey GOP, and Christie for Governor in 2013, now serves as the Executive Director for Latinos for Trump.

In addition to women holding key positions on Trump’s coalitions, GOP women have also made their presence known on his campaign’s senior adviser team. Katrina Pierson and Kimberly Guilfoyle serve as senior advisers to Trump’s campaign helping to organize on a national level.

Compared to former President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, the Trump re-election campaign has a staggering amount of females in key campaign power positions.

Leslie Shedd, senior vice president at Firehouse Strategies, and former communications advisor/deputy campaign manager for Rep. Jim Renacci’s U.S. Senate campaign, national press secretary for CARLY for America, and National Republican Senatorial Committee staffer  said, “The media was obsessed with the whole ‘year of the woman’ in 2018 because there were so many female Democrats running for office, but they completely overlooked how many amazing female GOP operatives have been running things behind the scenes for years.

“Liesl Hickey was heading up the NRCC back in 2014. Betsy Ankeny pulled Sen. Ron Johnson from an 11-point deficit in early August 2016 to a three-and-a-half point win by Election Day. Some of the brightest, hardest working women I’ve met are current or former GOP campaign operatives.”


Photo courtesy Doug Coulter

Marissa Martinez is the founder of Strategic Rush, contributor for Accuracy in Media, The Hill, and Republican Strategist for PACs and congressional candidates. Follow her stories, @MarissaAlisa

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