Donald Trump’s campaign just announced what is more or less a shake-up in terms of campaign management… without changing campaign managers. Essentially, the campaign has taken power away from campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and giving it to their new “Convention Manager,” Paul Manafort.
New York, NY) April 7th, 2016 – Today Donald J. Trump is announcing that he is consolidating the functions related to the nomination process and assigning them to Convention Manager, Paul Manafort. In this capacity, Mr. Manafort will oversee, manage, and be responsible for all activities that pertain to Mr. Trump’s delegate process and the Cleveland Convention.
Working closely with Campaign Manager Corey R. Lewandowski and Deputy Campaign Manager Michael Glassner, Mr. Manafort will direct the campaign’s activities in areas including delegate operations, Washington, DC outreach and the DC office opening next week.
The Trump campaign appears to be feeling the pressure on two fronts. The first is from the realization that they have no game plan for getting and maintaining delegates. They never planned on needed to work to keep them, rather just assuming winning states was all they had to do. Ted Cruz has disabused them of that notion at least partially, it seems.
The second front of pressure comes from those who question why Lewandowski still has a job after allegedly assaulting a female Breitbart journalist. The campaign’s handling of the situation has been, at best, less than professional. Manafort, meanwhile, has been getting more power within the Trump camp, per this POLITICO piece from a day ago, which mentions what was essentially a power play by Lewandowski.
Behind the scenes, Lewandowski is fighting to preserve his own power and to box out Paul Manafort, who was hired last month to lead the campaign’s delegate corralling effort. “Corey and his people know the knives are out for them,” said one source close to the campaign, referring to Manafort as a “pretty experienced in-fighter.”
On Saturday, Lewandowski went as far as to fire a young operative named James Baker, who’d been recently put in charge of its Colorado campaign—he’d arrived in the state less than 48 hours earlier—because he’d been communicating with Manafort after Lewandowski instructed him not to do so, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed. Lewandowski disputed the reason for Baker’s dismissal.
Manafort then went to meet with Trump and apparently, Trump decided to reduce Lewandowski’s role in the picture.