Having now wrested back the momentum from the anti-Trump forces that watched their best laid plans go up like a flaming bag of dogshit after the cheesehead mafia failed to whack him, the GOP front-runner is setting his sights on the general election. With the stomping of Cruz in the New York primary having offset all of the poaching of delegates and the inconsequential Wyoming and Colorado caucuses and with five more states voting Tuesday – all but one is friendly to Trump – the billionaire iconoclast’s new team is seeking to mend fences and moderate his message for wider appeal.
The Washington Post reports “Trump is playing ‘a part’ and can transform for victory, campaign chief tells GOP leaders”:
The two new leaders of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign sought Thursday to reassure nervous Republican Party leaders that there is a path to victory in November and that the divisive billionaire mogul will be able to transform his image to win over the general electorate.
Trump’s chief strategist Paul Manafort told members of the Republican National Committee in a closed-door briefing here Thursday afternoon that his candidate has been playing a “part” on the campaign trail, but is starting to pivot toward presenting a more businesslike and presidential “persona.”
“He gets it,” Manafort told RNC members. “The part that he’s been playing is now evolving into the part that you’ve been expecting. The negatives will come down, the image is going to change, but ‘Crooked Hillary’ is still going to be ‘Crooked Hillary.’”
The RNC members laughed at Manafort’s use of Trump’s derogatory nickname for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. “She is going to hate him,” Manafort said. “And he enjoys digging it in that way.
It was always inevitable that Trump would have to dial it down a notch or two – which is still pretty intense – in order to deflect the establishment attacks and especially Democrat messaging that he is a dangerous, demagogic loose cannon on deck who could be the new Hitler. The moves to bring in seasoned pros like Paul Manafort and Rick Wiley in order to augment his loyal but inexperienced team in order to combat the establishment is a classic halftime adjustment and Trump didn’t become rich by getting outmaneuvered. Team Trump has also reached out to RNC boss Reince Priebus as well as making it’s case at the Florida RNC gathering.
There are signs that the GOPe may be getting nervous over the Romney plan or the move to steal the nomination from Trump at the convention. Such a move is increasingly looking like suicide and a virtual endorsement of Hillary Clinton. With Trump making the necessary changes to prep for the battle for the White House it would be a good time for the party to begin unifying behind him instead of forming a circular firing squad that will only usher in doomsday come November. While the treacherous Paul Ryan works on his much anticipated RINO manifesto which will be rolled out right before the big soirée in Cleveland, there has to be some second guessing on the decision to go all in with Cruz.
Toxic Ted has run out of friendly primaries and by all appearances made the wise decision to shelf loony tunes Cruz fanatic Glenn Beck who had become an embarrassment. But he continues to push for sinking Trump in Cleveland even if it spells disaster for the party. There is a very good reason why Cruz is nearly universally despised – especially by his own Senate colleagues – and he would be pulverized by Queen Hillary. Worse though is that his ongoing delegate skimming is drawing way too much attention to the entire rigged process. The primaries are set up to immunize the system against outsiders and for perhaps the first time Americans are paying attention to the con game that has been played against them for decades. Thank the allure of celebrity for that, in the desired establishment scenario Jeb! would have already been anointed and would now be focusing on making sure that donors were taken care of and rehearsing his acceptance speech but that was before Trump came along and pissed in the punch bowl.