Campaign Shakeup: The Failure Of Trump’s “Best People”

Campaign Shakeup: The Failure Of Trump’s “Best People”

Donald Trump has been bragging since the beginning of his campaign that he is capable of being president despite his lack of experience because he will get the “best people” to work for him.

Trump has since forced several campaign shakeups, and today he shook things up yet again. Campaign manager Paul Manafort has been demoted (say hello to Corey Lewandowski for us!), with strategist/pollster Kellyanne Conway replacing him. Not sure if this is foreshadowing of Trump’s embarrassing electoral defeat, but “Legitimate Rape” Todd Akin was one her former clients.

Another addition is Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon, who has been hired as campaign CEO. Trump really likes media people, and has a neofascist obsession over his own political branding, so this seems like a good match for America’s democracy.

It begs the Election 2016 question: If Trump is so good at finding the best people, why is he taking so long? Perhaps it was a blowhard exaggeration of unearned vanity?

This is hardly the first time the question has been posed, and Trump’s self-assertion of hiring greatness has been questioned by many in the media throughout Trump’s candidacy.

Back in February, the National Review noted that Trump’s “best people” in Iowa lost him the state’s primary to Ted Cruz because of a false sense of complacency regarding Trump’s ground game performance in getting voters to the polls. That doesn’t seem to earn a high grade for Trump’s business sense.

Back in June, RedState noted that the Trump campaign was suffering staffing problems because so many Republican professionals refused to be associated with Trump in any way. It has been difficult for Trump to fight the notion that Trump2016 will be a resume stain.

A few weeks ago, Trump was pressed on who he was considering for his prospective cabinet, and the only name he was prepared to drop was his daughter Ivanka. In Donald Trump’s world, all Trumps are seemingly qualified to run the country. Perhaps because both Donald and Ivanka had the good sense to be born into already rich families?

Following his cabinet indecision, Trump unveiled his team of economic advisors, and it appears that he was looking for people who had given him financial support rather than people with genuine economic credentials. The only person on the list with an advanced degree in economics, Peter Navarro of UC Irvine, has never actually met or talked to Donald Trump, which is certainly a novel approach to advising. What could go wrong with this group of “the best” economic advisors?

Finding the best people has even been a problem concerning Trump’s vice-presidential nominee. The VP list was already skim because of professional Republicans’ sense to stay away from anything Trumpian, and Trump had to choose between a handful of dead-ended career Republicans including such nowhere politicians as Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich. Even his eventual pick, Mike Pence, had a tough gubernatorial reelection ahead of him, and he’s certainly too religious to get elected to national office by himself.

Despite promising (seemingly untruthfully) that he never had a second thought about picking Pence, Trump certainly looks impatient having to listen to Pence talk in their joint interviews. Choosing Pence was a play for conservative reconciliation of sorts, but Trump is a gambling candidate who favors recklessness and will likely chafe from the boring contrast that Pence embodies. Really any VP-pick would be a bad choice for a candidate as narcissistic and egotistical as Trump. He does not share attention well.

In presidential campaigns, though, the buck stops with the candidate, and Trump himself is to blame—regardless of whether or not he accepts that blame. Three weeks have passed since the Democratic National Convention, but Hillary Clinton’s post-convention bump in the polls still has not definitively peaked. It looks like Trump has found a plethora of non-best people, in which Paul Manafort is only the latest casualty of the Trump campaign carousel. If Trump really was capable of finding the best people to defeat Clinton, he should have found someone other than himself to run.

Levi Olson

Levi Olson

Senior political columnist here at Contemptor, and a political scientist proving that American conservatism is a sham. Follow me on Tumblr at or on Facebook & Twitter @theleviolson.