Donald Trump’s campaign shake up is widely seen as a rebuff efforts to rein the candidate in. Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort apparently tried to moderate Trump’s tone and make him stick to a script. Now the campaign is set to let Trump loose as ‘Let Trump be Trump’ has become the prevailing attitude.
According to analysts of the Trump campaign, the Republican billionaire felt restricted and controlled by members of his team. Despite a string of unfiltered statements that have seen voters abandon Trump in record numbers, he apparently believes he has ‘boxed in’ by GOP officials.
By appointing Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon and controversial strategist Kellyanne Conway, Trump has signaled that there will be no pivot to the general election. If anything, Trump’s embrace of the ‘Alt-Right’ shows he will continue to take extreme positions. Bannon is expected to encourage Trump to intensify his nationalist message in an appeal to white voters.
Strangely, the Trump team believes he isn’t doing well in the polls because he hasn’t been allowed to be himself. Trump hasn’t been Trump enough. Anyone following his comments on Second Amendment solutions to Hillary Clinton, racial profiling and rigged elections will find it hard to buy the argument that Trump has been held back.
If Trump really has felt unable to ‘be Trump’, we can expect him to intensify his rhetoric and make even more erratic statements. This is not an election winning strategy. The Republican National Committee is considering shifting funding away from Trump and into crucial down ballot races while conservative The Wall Street Journal has demanded Trump change tack or face being abandoned by the GOP.