Aug 8, 2019

Pete Buttigieg's 2020 campaign adds top talent

Pete Buttigieg speaks yesterday at The Plaza Live in Orlando. Photo: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via Getty Images

Hari Sevugan, a well-known Democratic operative, has joined Pete Buttigieg's campaign as deputy campaign manager for brand and media, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The Buttigieg staff has grown to 250, from about 40 when he announced four months ago, in mid-April. He plans to keep hiring.

  • Sevugan will be based in the campaign's Chicago office. The mayor's headquarters is in South Bend, Ind., where he has outgrown his space twice, and is now in his third location, and he has staff in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Details:

  • Sevugan will oversee how the mayor's message is integrated throughout the campaign. 
  • He was a senior spokesperson for Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, and later the DNC's national press secretary.
  • He has led research, policy and communications teams on statewide campaigns, helping to elect governors Tim Kaine in Virginia and Martin O'Malley in Maryland.

Other big recent Buttigieg hires: Jess O'Connell as senior strategist ... Michael Halle as senior adviser ... Larry Grisolano and John Del Cecato of AKPD Media ... and Katie Connolly of Benenson Strategy Group.

  • They join campaign manager Mike Schmuhl, communications adviser Lis Smith and national press secretary Chris Meagher.

Go deeper: Pete Buttigieg on the issues, in under 500 words

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Trump's net approval rating sinks in every battleground state

Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump's net approval rating has plunged in every key battleground state since taking office in January 2017, according to Morning Consult's tracking poll.

Why it matters: These are the states that Republicans and Democrats are vying for in 2020 and where, as of now, the campaigns think the presidential election will be decided, according to conversations with several Trump and Democratic campaign staffers.

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Pete Buttigieg on the issues, in under 500 words

Pete Buttigieg. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

If elected, Pete Buttigieg — the 37-year-old South Bend, Indiana mayor — would be the youngest U.S. president ever. He also would be the first openly gay president in the nation's history.

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NYT: Pro-Trump operatives compiling "fireable" dirt on hundreds of journalists

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

A pro-Trump network of conservative operatives has been compiling dossiers of potentially damaging public comments and social media posts by journalists who have produced unfavorable coverage of the administration, the New York Times' Ken Vogel and Jeremy Peters report.

The big picture: The group has already released information on journalists at CNN, the Times and the Washington Post, but sources say the operation has only disclosed a fraction of its dirt. More is set to be disseminated as the 2020 election campaign ramps up, including potentially "fireable" information on "several hundred" journalists, according to one source. The research is also said to include information on journalists' families and any "toxic" political affiliations.

Go deeperArrowAug 25, 2019