A few years ago, casting director Matt Whelan decided to take on a project with the Trump and Hillary campaigns.
“I decided I needed a campaign manager,” he says.
“You’ve got to have a lot of energy, a lot that people will want to work with, a desire to learn and an attitude that they will be taken care of.”
“I’m not going to be able to do that with Trump,” he added, adding, “I have a real problem with him.”
The director says he had “a few ideas” about hiring a Trump campaign manager, but that they didn’t work out.
“So, I started thinking, ‘How do we get the Trump campaign to do this?'” he says, laughing.
“It’s kind of a classic, ‘Let’s get them to do it!'”
He eventually found one candidate: David Bossie, the former Republican congressman from Wisconsin.
“David was the one who was like, ‘I’m looking for a candidate,’ ” Whelian says.
Bossie hired a private security firm to help him hire the people he needed.
“He got us to hire David Bossier as our campaign manager.”
He says it was a “real challenge” to get the candidate on the payroll, but he found that he could “do that with Donald Trump.”
“David has a strong character, which is important, and he’s an excellent public speaker,” Whelians says.
But Bossie’s first hiring was a little more than a week before Election Day.
Whelans wanted a new assistant, someone who could help prepare his volunteers.
So he hired John Schilling, the ex-Trump campaign manager who left the campaign in 2014 after less than a year.
“Schilling had a very solid track record of success with people, so he was our go-to guy for that,” Whetan says.
When Whelins asked Schilling about the Trump team, he said that he “couldn’t imagine the team not having someone with experience in political work.”
“He said he thought it would be a tremendous benefit to the campaign if we hired a Trump adviser,” Whedan says, referring to Trump.
“The first thing I did was email David Bossy to say, ‘We need a Trump advisor.
What are you looking for?'”
Schilling was hired.
“There was this very strong desire from the Trump side to have someone with a strong political experience,” Whesons says.
He quickly discovered that Schilling had “an incredible ability to communicate well and with a broad range of people.”
Whelany says Schilling is “one of the most qualified and passionate people I have ever worked with.”
Whetany also had a problem finding someone with “the right skill set.”
He asked Schiller, “How do you do your job?”
He says he “would have loved to hire a political strategist,” but “I would have never said yes to someone who doesn’t have the right skills.”
Wheson says that when he first heard Schilling talk about Trump, he asked him, “What does it take to be a political adviser?”
Whesones boss responded, “He would not have an answer for that.”
“We needed a Trump person,” Whingany says.
Schilling went on to hire two other Trump advisers: David Plouffe, the campaign’s chief strategist, and Steven Mnuchin, who was hired as treasury secretary.
Whesany says he was surprised by the number of people Schilling recruited for the campaign.
“People would have to say the right things,” he explains.
Whingan says he found it “very difficult to convince people he had the right skill sets.”
Schilling says the job was “very demanding,” but he “had the right temperament.”
Wheats first hire was someone with the right background: a former New York City mayor.
“At that point, we were really struggling,” Wheran says of his first hire.
“We were hiring people, and I was just a rookie.”
Schill, who has been in politics since the 1990s, says that he did his best to help Schilling get the right candidate.
“Our first hire, he was in his early 40s and he had a real, strong background in politics, he had some experience as a congressman, he’d been a mayor, he’s got a good resume,” Schill says.
Wherany says that after Schilling hired him, he told Schilling that the person would need to be “very, very smart, and extremely articulate.”
“It was a challenge, but it was something I could handle,” Schilling said.
“If I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t be here.”
Schills job was much more than that.
“To be a good candidate, you need to have the ability to be an expert in your field,” he adds.
“And he had all those qualities. He could