Politics

Trump's Campaign Shake-Up Was A Bad Move

| by Mark Jones
Donald Trump speaks at the First In Nation Republican Leadership Summit, Nashua, New Hampshire.Donald Trump speaks at the First In Nation Republican Leadership Summit, Nashua, New Hampshire.

Recent changes in Donald Trump's campaign will prove less than successful for the GOP candidate.

On Aug. 17, The Wall Street Journal released an official statement from Trump revealing his decision to promote Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway to high positions of leadership in his campaign.  

Many news sources, including NBC and CNN, have called these changes a campaign “shake up,” recognizing Trump’s desire to change the course of the 2016 election.

According to NBC, Trump is in a “polling slump.” Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has taken the lead in several critical swing states and holds a significant lead over her Republican opponent in national polls.

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“I want to win,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal. “That’s why I’m bringing on fantastic people who know how to win and love to win.”

But the simple desire to win may not be enough for Trump and his newest campaign managers.

Bannon, Trump’s new chief executive, is a former Goldman Sachs man. He is also the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, a conservative news source.

Adding Bannon to the team of GOP hopefuls may be Trump’s downfall. According to The Daily Beast, Bannon made a name for himself by “attacking Republicans.” 

At the 2013 Future of Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C., Bannon said, “We don’t really believe there is a functional conservative party in this country, and we certainly don’t think the Republican Party is that.”

Additionally, Bannon’s previous statements against Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain and Republican House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan could drive an already divided party further apart.

Trump’s campaign changes already have prompted complaints from Republicans. Kendal Unruh, a Republican delegate present at the 2016 GOP convention, said, “All this shows is that he is somebody who is erratic, impulsive, thin-skinned, and responds to whatever pushback he is getting.”

Chief strategist and campaign chairman Paul Manafort has reportedly asked Trump to allow him to moderate his future public presentations. An inside source told reporters at The Washington Post that Trump would rather continue going off-script during his speeches.

Granting Bannon and Conway more power on the Trump campaign will likely mean Manafort’s influence will weaken. While having Manafort in a position of power is causing Trump frustration at the moment, the GOP candidate would be wise to allow the experienced strategist to advise his campaign.

Trump’s tendency to go off-script during speeches has led to trouble recently. His comments about the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who died in Iraq and, more recently, a poorly timed “joke” about the Second Amendment that many interpreted as a call for an assassination of Clinton have left Trump looking like an insensitive and hot-tempered individual in the eyes of the media. Manafort’s desires to moderate Trump’s pitches are justified.

But the new leadership will bring Trump back to a more aggressive style of campaigning that likely will lead to more trouble.

Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, told The Atlantic he does not believe adding Conway to the team was a smart move.

“I think it’s only going to get tougher for him to appeal to women voters going forward,” Mook said. “And I don’t think she’s going to do anything to help that.”

If Conway does not garner support for Trump among women, adding her to the campaign this late in the game is nothing more than added, unnecessary controversy.

Trump should not have changed leadership in his campaign. Rather, he should focused energy on changing strategy with his the same group of experienced advisers.

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Sources: The Daily Beast, YouTube, The Atlantic, NBC, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal / Photo credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

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