Political News

Elizabeth Warren nabs Obama's chief digital strategist, beefs up national staff

Posted January 4, 2019 2:55 p.m. EST

— Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has hired Barack Obama's former chief digital strategist to help lead her emerging 2020 presidential campaign and has also recruited a Democratic operative with deep experience in Southern politics ahead of a long primary.

Joe Rospars, who led former President Obama's digital strategy in both 2008 and 2012, has joined Warren's newly launched presidential exploratory committee in a senior capacity, according to two sources familiar with staffing. He will oversee the senator's grassroots mobilization, national operations and planning in the early states, they said.

Warren has also recruited Richard McDaniel, the former field and political director for Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones and senior adviser to Randall Woodfin's mayoral campaign in Birmingham. McDaniel, who was also Hillary Clinton's primary states regional director, will play a senior role in developing Warren's field program, the sources told CNN.

Rospars and McDaniel are both expected to join Warren's eventual 2020 campaign, the sources added.

Warren's staff announcements so far have represented a significant show of force in a Democratic primary field that is competing aggressively for top talent. She announced earlier this week an Iowa team that already includes Emily Parcell, then-Sen. Obama's Iowa political director for the 2008 caucus and a senior adviser to Clinton in the state eight years later; Janice Rottenberg, an Ohio organizer for Clinton in 2016; and Brendan Summers, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' Iowa caucus director in 2016.

Rospars is one of the most prominent digital strategists in the Democratic Party and is poised to be a significant asset to Warren heading into a primary season that is expected to be heavily defined online.

McDaniel is an operative with deep experience across the South -- a potentially decisive region in the upcoming Democratic primary.