In what is now Trump’s second major campaign shake-up in less than three months, Paul Manafort is out and Breitbart head Steve Brannon is in. The rise and fall of Manafort was brutally quick. Political observers are split on the reason why he fell out of favor with Trump.
Some believe it is because he was recently exposed as having played a major part in the Russian annexation of Crimea and possibly accepted up to $12 million in illegal secret pay offs from Pro-Putin Ukrainian plutocrats. Others think it was because Manafort failed in his one and only job: Stop Trump from being Trump.
A recent Huffington Post exposé on the final days of Manafort’s miserable career as Trump’s right-hand man seems to hint at the latter.
It’s no secret that Trump is competing against two people this election: Hillary Clinton and the guy who lives in Trump’s mirror. The Republican candidate’s insistence that he knows better than anyone else – so crucial to him winning the primaries – has failed him under the rigors of a general election. Trump has no campaign. He has no field offices in key swing states. He has made no attempt to raise campaign money. He doesn’t do ad buys. He actively tells his followers not to give him money in order to “prove” how rich he is. And his only real strategy is to send angry tweets at media critics.
He also impulsively sends highly damaging photos of himself despite his own staff’s objections.
It leads to some hilarious moments of self-owning.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2016
According to Huffington Post, Trump’s disastrous, widely mocked, Cinco de Mayo tweet originated with someone within the Trump family (I’m looking at you, Donald Jr.), and it was immediately seized upon by Trump himself as a flawless idea.
On Cinco de Mayo, Trump happened to be eating a taco bowl for lunch at his desk in Trump Tower. Manafort was in the office with other aides when a member of the family suggested they tweet a picture of Trump enjoying his ‘Mexican’ lunch.
Any guy off the street could probably tell that this picture was going to backfire. Trump was already almost universally loathed by Hispanic voters. A “taco bowl” isn’t a Mexican lunch. Nor does Trump Tower have the “best” Mexican anything. Manafort, apparently the only person in the room not crazy, objected.
Manafort politely suggested that this might be seen as condescending and cautioned against it. The tweet went out. Trump himself was delighted by the resulting controversy. ‘The people who were offended were people we wanted to offend,’ he later said.
Latinos. Trump offended Latinos. A group he desperately needed if he had any shot of winning the election. The only people who enjoyed this tweet were Trump himself, and his small but passionate base. To the rest of America it signaled the fact that this man was a buffoon.
It’s unclear just how much Manafort could have done with Trump’s campaign. The Republican candidate is a mercurial narcissist prone to fits of anger, sadness, and delusional thinking that make any advising an uphill battle. In fact, Trump’s recent move to get rid of Manafort appears to have been the result of Trump concluding that he knows better than anyone else. He’s viewing his disintegrating campaign and drawing the exact wrong conclusions about why it’s imploding. The results are hilarious – and a bit sad for everyone involved.
Featured image via Twitter