Jon Huntsman Replaces His Campaign Manager

The latest signs of cracking at the well-coiffed Jon Huntsman presidential bid: The Washington Post reports campaign manager Susie Wiles is out, to be replaced by Matt David, the director of communications.

Wiles stepped into the lead role at the Huntsman campaign after working for Rick Scott, who self-funded his way into the Florida governor’s mansion last year. David is a veteran of the John McCain and George W. Bush presidential campaigns, as well as a former staffer for Arnold Schwarzenegger.As the Post‘s Aaron Blake reports, “High-level staff departures early in a presidential campaign are generally not seen as a good thing.” Huntsman’s top strategist, John Weaver, said the news comes as part of a new focus for the campaign.

“Campaign is moving into phase 2, which will be more aggressive from a messaging and tactical standpoint,” he told NBC News in a report tweeted by Mark Murray.

It’s not a stretch to say that Huntsman’s highly-anticipated presidential bid has landed on the Republican landscape with a thud. Polls show him down in nowheresville in New Hampshire, where he’s expected to make his first stand (he’s officially skipping Iowa.) Nationally, he’s not doing any better.

Huntsman made a big deal about keeping it clean on the primary campaign trail when he got in. He’s already veered away from that model a bit. Neither has done much for his poll numbers.