- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Huntsman campaign manager resigns
Wiles cites exhaustion as reason for stepping down
Question of the Day
Ex-Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.’s bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination was rocked Thursday with the abrupt resignation of campaign manager Susie Wiles, who cited exhaustion as the reason for her departure.
The move comes as Mr. Huntsman, who resigned as President Obama’s ambassador to China to enter the race, struggled to rise above low single digits in Republican primary polls.
Mrs. Wiles‘ replacement is an unusual choice — the campaign’s former communications director Matt David, an experienced political hand who saw things go bad in the campaign from the start and seethed privately, campaign insiders said.
Some operatives said they thought they saw a gradual easing out of Mrs. Wiles in recent days. Two weeks ago, for example, Mr. Huntsman hired away British Prime Minister David Cameron’s operations manager, Conyers Davis, to be deputy campaign manager for operations.
Mrs. Wiles told the Miami Herald she was “exhausted” and that it was time to move on. She had come to the Huntsman campaign with seemingly sterling credentials, as the woman who helped engineer health care executive Rick Scott’s surprise win in the Florida governor’s race last fall.
Earlier this month, Mr. Huntsman told The Washington Times that, despite reports to the contrary, he was perfectly happy with the way Mrs. Wiles and her husband, Lanny — Mr. Huntsman’s omnipresent “body man” — were performing for the campaign.
Some say it could be a terminal blow to a campaign that never quite seemed to get off the ground. But others noted that Sen. John McCain was similarly written off after internal organizational woes in the 2008 nomination fight, but was able to retool, restaff and ultimately win the nomination.
Mr. Huntsman, a moderate who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese from his days as a Mormon missionary, got off to a rocky start with a formal campaign kickoff event last month near the Statue of Liberty that was marred by numerous logistical glitches.
Behind closed doors, political pros employed in rival campaigns have treated the Huntsman organization — and Mrs. Wiles in particular — as a joke.
One veteran of five previous GOP presidential campaigns said privately, “She can’t organize a two-car funeral.”
The man behind the curtain in the Huntsman organization is John Weaver, who was also Mr. McCain’s 2008 campaign strategist when the wheels came off that effort.
“Susie has served the campaign well and was vital in getting it off the ground in such a short time frame,” Mr. Weaver said in a statement released Thursday. “Now the campaign is moving into phase two, which will be more aggressive from a messaging and tactical standpoint and Matt is prepared to take that on.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- GOP 2014: Oklahoma's Mary Fallin follows in her parents' footsteps
- GOP 2014: In New Mexico, Susana Martinez is the hope for Hispanics
- GOP 2014: Thriving economy, school choice fuel Bobby Jindal agenda in Louisiana
- GOP 2014: Scott Walker survives, Wisconsin thrives
- GOP 2014: From House to Statehouse for Indiana's Mike Pence
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Colorado poll shows women tuning out Democrats' 'war on women' strategy
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world