Ready for another GOP campaign shakeup? The Washington Post reports that former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's campaign manager, Susan Wiles, is resigning. According to sources, she will be replaced by Matt David, the current communications director for the campaign. This announcement will be made during the team's staff meeting later this afternoon, though the Post has already confirmed it with officials:
“Susie has served the campaign well and was vital in getting it off the ground in such a short time-frame,” [top adviser John] Weaver said in a statement provided by the campaign.
The campaign did not provide details regarding the reasons why Wiles is vacating her position, however officials did claim that the former director is leaving on her own accord. No conflicts with other staff were mentioned and Wiles, herself, confirmed: "This was my decision. It was more about feeling like it was time." National Journal reports:
Wiles most recently ran Florida Gov. Rick Scott's winning campaign in 2010 and said it was time for a break. The Huntsman campaign was based in Orlando, about 130 miles northeast of her home in Ponte Vedra.
...the shakeup nonetheless raises questions about the viability of the former Utah governor's campaign. It has struggled to gain traction since Huntsman returned from his role as U.S. ambassador in China in the spring.
While some of complained that the campaign isn't moving as quickly and swiftly as had been hoped, Wiles is the only resignation to emerge from Huntsman's team thus far (one other individual stepped away for personal reasons). The campaign's release, though, touted Huntsman's accomplishments and seemed to indicate that everything is going as planned. In his statement, Weaver said:
“In just under three months, Governor Huntsman has returned from China, launched a campaign and created a strong infrastructure in the three early primary states. He’s built important relationships with donors, as well as political, policy and grassroots leaders that other candidates have been courting for half a decade."
This is not necessarily reminiscent of Newt Gingrich's campaign woes back in June, but it is certainly worth keeping an eye on. Campaign departures are often the first sign that something within the apparatus is awry.