Paul Manaford quit the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign three days after getting kicked out of his job as campaign CEO.
There appear to be some potentially difficult legal issues for Manaford to navigate. But I digress.
The issue today is how the Republican presidential nominee becomes a new man, a new candidate.
Honestly, this is all quite confusing.
Steve Bannon is the new CEO. Kellyanne Conway is the new campaign manager. Conway says she dislikes the personal insults that Trump has hurled throughout his campaign. Bannon, though, is a rough-and-tough character known for his take-no-prisoners style.
Trump has said publicly he plans “no pivot.” He’s not going to change his style.
How does his campaign get traction? How does he become a more “focused” and potentially gentler candidate for the U.S. presidency? His expression of “regret” over the “personal pain” he caused rings — to my ears — as hollow as his assertion that he’s going to “work for you.”
Moreover, how does he make these changes without pivoting … and without the public forgetting those astonishing utterances that have poured out of Trump’s mouth during the GOP primary campaign?
I won’t recite them here. You’ve heard ’em all. They fired up the GOP base. They’re still in Trump’s corner. What about the rest of the general election voters, though, who need convincing that Trump is their guy?
Trump’s campaign has gone through a remarkable set of changes in its high command quite late in the process of electing a president. They all seem to suggest a campaign in serious disarray.
And, oh yes, we have that organization issue to be resolved.
Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton has put — if you’ll excuse the ridiculous euphemism — “boots on the ground” in all 50 states. She’s got precinct chairs, workers, campaign staff, volunteers — and maybe even their pets, for all I know — lined up to work for her election. Trump? He’s got next to no one filling those essential line jobs in the field.
I’m waiting to see if Trump assumes Americans are as gullible and malleable as he hopes. My sense is that voters — those of us far beyond the GOP base — aren’t going to forget the lengthy string of insults and innuendo that propelled this guy to his party’s presidential nomination.