Donald Trump ... moved late Tuesday to overhaul his struggling campaign by ... elevating two longtime associates who have encouraged his combative populism.Kevin Drum thinks Trump has effectively thrown in the towel:
Stephen Bannon, a former banker who runs the influential conservative outlet Breitbart News and is known for his fiercely anti-establishment politics, has been named the Trump campaign’s chief executive. Kellyanne Conway, a veteran Republican pollster who has been close to Trump for years, will assume the role of campaign manager....
Trump’s stunning decision effectively ended the months-long push by campaign chairman Paul Manafort to moderate Trump’s presentation and pitch for the general election. 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.
... advisers described [Manafort's] status internally as diminished due to Trump’s unhappiness and restlessness in recent weeks.
Apparently Trump has decided that if he's going to kick the bucket in November, he wants to do it with friends and family at his bedside when he breathes his last. Instead of losing by seven or eight points, he might lose by a dozen instead. But at least he'll put on a helluva show in the meantime.Drum's post is titled "Donald Trump Decides He'd Rather Have Fun Than Be President."
You think? I don't. I think Trump believes he's finally righting the ship. Campaigning the way he wants to campaign has to work, because he's masterminded "a flawless campaign" (his words) -- or at least it was flawless until people who had doubts about his genius instincts began to meddle.
As I keep telling you, Trump has spent years imbibing the right-wing media message that "real Americans" are all angry white Fox viewers, and that white liberals, white moderates, and non-whites who are skeptical of wingnuttery either don't exist or are undocumented aliens or only show up in electoral vote totals becaue of voter fraud. In this view, there's no difference between the Republican primary electorate and the general electorate -- those folks are "taking their country back," and everyone who's not them took possession of the country through evil subterfuge.
When this doesn't work, I don't know how Trump's going to explain it -- media bias, probably, or Clinton subterfuge.
If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn't put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20%— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2016
It can't be his fault. Dammit, he should be winning. He really believes that -- still.