After what feels like a year but has somehow been less than a month of bad press almost every day, Donald Trump is doing a good old-fashioned campaign shakeup. Agent of evil Paul Manafort is OUT as campaign manager and pure reflection of the Republican id, and Breitbart CEO Stephen Bannon is IN as campaign chief executive. While not as drastic as the time George McGovern changed his vice-presidential pick less than a month into his campaign, the shakeup has the distinct Trump campaign flavor of being trapped in a bunker with a madman.
As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Team Trump has brought Bannon aboard to act as its campaign chief executive, and has also promoted pollster Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager. Paul Manafort, recently revealed as a potential unregistered lobbyist for a foreign government is still the campaign chairman, but Politico suggests the two new positions are a "diminution of the authority" of the man who had never been fired by the likes of Ferdinand Marcos and Mobutu Sese Seko. Trump told the Journal he made the moves because “I want to win. That’s why I’m bringing on fantastic people who know how to win and love to win.”
Conway, who specializes in polls, will be promoted at a time that Trump fans are hinging their hope on the 2012 election standby of "unskewing" the polls, given Hillary Clinton's huge lead in state polls across the country. The Bannon hire comes just three days after the New York Times spoke to numerous sources who described the campaign as something of a clown show. It also happened just hours after Trump once again went back to trying to give speeches with a teleprompter instead of his freewheeling Castro-esque monologues.
As for Bannon, you can learn all about the ex-Goldman Sachs banker, who befriended Andrew Breitbart in the early aughts and sits on a huge pile of Seinfeld royalties, in this Bloomberg profile. The move to Bannon indicates that Trump will once again break the hearts of unbelievably well-compensated centrist haircuts who thought he would suddenly become "presidential" any day now, and move full speed ahead towards an aggressive style that has already seen him wage a fight with a Gold Star family, suggest Barack Obama founded ISIS and that "Second Amendment people" could do something about Hillary Clinton.
Huge rallies. Gloves off. Brutal fights with Clinton. Heavy emphasis on nationalism and populism. That's the Bannon strategy.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) August 17, 2016
So if you're unfamiliar with the claim that Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster, prepare for a very loud education somewhere in the middle of a two hour speech in which Trump accidentally reveals the contents of his first classified security briefing.
Breitbart, a conservative news outlet/safe space for "renegade Jew" smears started by "provocateur" Andrew Breitbart, has been a media outlet so friendly to Trump that their management took his campaign's side when one of their reporters reported an assault against previous Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. As has been the case since he suddenly died, at least one conservative is shocked by a populist nationalist website going to bat for a populist nationalist presidential candidate and is claiming that Andrew Breitbart is spinning in his grave.
Glenn Beck: "Andrew Breitbart is spinning in his grave right now"
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) August 17, 2016
Elsewhere in the campaign, the Times reports that vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence continued his dead-on impression of former Iraqi information minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, telling a Republican Governors Association Meeting that "We’re still winning hearts and minds every day despite an avalanche of negative media coverage."