WASHINGTON, DC – Donald Trump, the US Republican Party’s presidential nominee, has again shaken up his campaign organization. In doing so, he is revealing more about himself and his so-called management style than he may want people to see. Few presidential campaigns have featured such evident chaos and churn in personnel.
Two people who have never run a presidential campaign, and whose political instincts contradict each other’s, are now running Trump’s operation.
Kellyanne Conway, his new campaign manager, is a pollster who has been mining survey data from the mainstream Republican right for years (the party’s right wing is its “mainstream,” because its center is essentially gone). During the Republican primary, she worked for the “super PAC” that backed Trump’s bitter rival, Ted Cruz. Conway is a smart, tough partisan who is expected to be a steady and sensible influence in the campaign. If she prevails – and Trump can stick to a theme – we’ll see a more reasonable Republican candidate.
On the other hand, Trump’s decision to appoint Steven Bannon as his campaign CEO foretells anything but steadiness and sensibility. Prior to his appointment, Bannon was the executive chairman of Breitbart News, a far-right, hyper-nationalist – indeed white supremacist – online publication. He is known to be a combative nihilist who will stoop to any depth to win.