Let Trump Be Trump
Donald Trump made several major changes to his presidential campaign Tuesday night, hiring Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon as campaign CEO and elevating adviser Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager. Campaign chairman Paul Manafort will keep his job, but his influence on the campaign will be significantly diminished, aides tell The Washington Post, adding that Trump felt "boxed in" and "controlled" by operatives who barely know him. Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker, is a staunch Trump supporter who has been urging the candidate to run an unabashedly anti-establishment and nationalist campaign. Conway is a longtime GOP pollster and operative who has been close to Trump for years.
Trump told The Associated Press that he has known both new managers for years, and that "they're terrific people, they're winners, they're champs, and we need to win it." The demotion of Manafort, who was brought on just two months ago to moderate Trump's performance for the general election, marks a return to the "let Trump be Trump" style favored by former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, The Washington Post's Robert Costa says. "And it sent a signal, perhaps more clear than ever, that the real-estate mogul intends to finish this race on his own terms, with friends who share his instincts at his side."
Trump assured The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the major shakeup, that he wants to win, and so he's "bringing on fantastic people who know how to win and love to win." They have 82 days to work their Trumpean magic.