Monday, June 20, 2016

Trump to Corey Lewandowski: You're Fired

Lewandowski's head finally rolls. Roughing up the female reporter from Breitbart wasn't enough to sink him. But now, his time has come.

"Donald Trump has parted ways with his campaign manager and confidant Corey Lewandowski after months of upheaval in the campaign, the New York Times reported Monday."

"In a statement to the Times, campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks announced Lewandowski was no longer employed by the campaign."

“The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican Primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,” Hicks said in the statement. “The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future.”

"An anonymous source briefed on the news told the paper Trump's campaign had long planned internal "adjustments" as they pivot toward the general election.

"Lewandowski had become an increasingly controversial figure in the campaign after he was thrust into the national spotlight for a physical run-in with a political reporter covering the New York businessman."

"It was widely reported that Lewandowski strongly clashed with Trump convention czar Paul Manafort, who quickly became a central figure after joining the campaign in late March."

"At least one Trump staffer celebrated the news, with adviser Michael Caputo tweeting:

"Ding dong the witch is dead!

Yes, the witch is dead. Sounds like a healthy campaign to me.

"In the battle between Lewandowski and Manafort, it would seem a big win for Manafort:

"The goal of the move was clear: to end a long-running power struggle between Lewandowski, a Trump loyalist through and through, and Paul Manafort, a professional political hand brought in by Trump mid-campaign to serve as convention director."

"Both men denied the tension, but they were clearly at odds over how to handle Trump. Lewandowski believed in a damn the torpedoes, us against the world mentality in which Trump was right -- and everyone else was wrong. Manafort favored a more conciliatory approach as he tried to make nice with the very establishment that Trump had vilified in the Republican primary."

"Picking Manafort over Lewandowski is also intended by Trump to signal to a panicky GOP that he gets it, that he knows that things have been bad and that he is committed to changing them."

Certainly, firing your campaign manager is never a good sign, and things have clearly been going disastrously for Trump lately. He has managed to squander the entire month and a half head start he had with Hillary on unifying the party.

The supposed billionaire is totally out of cash.

He has literally 30 members on his field staff-just in case he missed it, there are 50 states.

Now Utah looks like a battleground. The same Utah that Romney won by 48 points and W won by 46.

Yet, he's wasting time trying to win California, New York, and Connecticut. I know he likes to break the rules, but sometimes the rules are the rules for a very good reason: they make sense.

As Paul Waldman says, there is plenty of time in the next five months for things to get worse.

"Yes, Trump has time to reverse the current situation. But today’s polls aren’t meaningless, even if they don’t tell us exactly what will happen in November. The problem for Trump isn’t the size of his polling deficit (which isn’t all that large); it’s the magnitude of challenges his campaign faces."

"While he could manage a stunning turnaround, at the moment Trump seems to have put together one of the worst presidential campaigns in history. Let’s take a look at all the major disadvantages Trump faces as we head toward the conventions:

As Waldman lists them we have:

 Trump's skeletal campaign staff.

"A skeletal campaign staff. Trump succeeded in the primaries with a small staff whose job was to do little more than stage rallies. But running a national campaign is hugely more complex than barnstorming from one state to the next during primaries. While the Clinton campaign has built an infrastructure of hundreds of operatives performing the variety of tasks a modern presidential campaign requires, the Trump campaign “estimates it currently has about 30 paid staff on the ground across the country,” a comically small number."

 Trump also has no money and no inclination to raise it.

"Not enough money, and little inclination to raise it. Trump hasn’t raised much money yet, and he doesn’t seem inclined to do so; according to one report, after telling Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus that he’d call 20 large donors to make a pitch, he gave up after three. Fundraising is the least pleasant part of running for office, but unlike most candidates who suck it up and do what they have to, Trump may not be willing to spend the time dialing for dollars. Instead, he’s convinced that he can duplicate what he did in the primaries and run a low-budget campaign based on having rallies and doing TV interviews. As he told NBC’s Hallie Jackson, “I don’t think I need that money, frankly. I mean, look what we’re doing right now. This is like a commercial, right, except it’s tougher than a normal commercial.” It’s not like a commercial, because in interviews Trump gets challenged, and usually says something that makes him look foolish or dangerous. But he seems convinced that his ability to get limitless media coverage, no matter how critical that coverage is, will translate to an increase in support."

He is also being totally outgunned in ad spending:

"Stunning --> Team Clinton has a 100% ad-spending edge in battlegrounds. In June 2012, it was 54%-46% for Obama."

Yglesias helpfully suggests:

"Maybe Trump is just really interested in helping political science explore the limits of fundamentals-based models."

"Before Trump, campaign effects too hard to study because everyone runs similar campaigns."

Waldman notes also his total lack of support from his own supposed party:

"There may never have been a presidential nominee with so little support from the people who are supposed to be out there persuading people to vote for him. Every day sees new stories about Trump being criticized by Republican leaders or about Republicans distancing themselves from him. And that includes the people who have endorsed him. Last week the chair of Trump’s leadership committee in the House begged reporters to stop making him defend Trump."

"That lack of unity can have a large impact on how Republicans view their vote. While the rote arguments between Democrats and Republicans may seem too predictable to change many minds, when intra-partisan unanimity breaks down, it sends a signal to people that it’s okay to disagree with your party’s nominee — and even to reject him altogether."

I think it sends a signal when the entire party is unified behind Hillary Clinton and the entire GOP is unified in not wanting to even talk about Donald Trump.

Waldman lists a lot of other major hurdles for Trump. Demographics, electoral problems-these all GOP candidates face, but he's impossibly making some states like Utah less red.

Then there is Obama's popularity. But no question, if things are bad for Trump now, there's no reason to think he's hit bottom.

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