In Focus

Who is the bird-watching grandmother at the heart of Trump’s campaign?

On one hand, Susie Wiles is the generous neighbour who brings you casseroles and sends you flowers when you’re in hospital. On the other, she’s a ruthless political operator who has been chosen to help get the former president back to the White House. Alex Hannaford finds out more…

Saturday 10 February 2024 13:12
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<p>Could the cake-baking strategist help usher in the next Trumpian era? </p>

Could the cake-baking strategist help usher in the next Trumpian era?

On her Twitter/X profile, she wears a blouse and cardigan, drop earrings, and a gold necklace, her grey hair perfectly set. But Susie Wiles’ “Golden Girl”, grandmotherly image belies the role that currently consumes her. Wiles is one of the most powerful players in Republican politics, running Donald Trump’s campaign for re-election. A ruthless political operator, her focus is on absolute victory.

The Hill political newspaper called her “the most powerful Republican you don’t know”; The New York Times described her as “perhaps the most significant voice inside Mr Trump’s third presidential campaign”.

Some say if he manages to beat Joe Biden to the presidency in November, he’ll have Wiles to thank. But who is she, and what makes this cake-baking, bird-watching 66-year-old grandmother tick?

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