The Corner

How Much Longer Can Trump’s Anti-Establishment Shtick Continue?

A report from Politico this morning suggested that Donald Trump was angered by recent comments made by new campaign manager adviser Paul Manafort that Trump has been “projecting an image” on the campaign trail for his base and that, come general-election time, he would somehow transform into Ronald Reagan right before our very eyes.

The Politico report cites a source saying Trump has been unhappy with this suggestion as well as Manafort’s television appearances and hiring of Washington lobbyists, to the point that he is considering scaling back Manafort’s role with the campaign and reinstating some responsibilities to Corey Lewandowski, who has found himself in a diminished position of late.

The Manafort–Lewandowski tug of war within the Trump operation is a perfect illustration of the problems Trump faces as he rails on about an all-powerful “establishment” out to steal a nomination from him, while simultaneously having to prioritize adding veteran Washington insiders to help him secure delegates and influence for the convention (and beyond, should he secure the nomination).

Trump can’t have it both ways but, Trump being Trump, he will certainly attempt to draw out the establishment-vs.-outsider game for his supporters and the media as long as he possibly can.

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