Why Trump won’t fire Corey Lewandowski, and why it will be his undoing

One thing that Trump could do, and any conventional campaign would have done a while ago, is fire Lewandowski. (Actually, were this a conventional campaign, Lewandowski would have immediately offered his resignation in recognition of the need to protect the candidate.) Trump could do this in a way that doesn’t completely throw Lewandowski into the jaws of the law, too. He could say that while he doesn’t think the incident in question amounts to a crime—or he believes that Lewandowski was just trying to protect him from the very dangerous Michelle Fields—the offense was that he lied about it.

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This is what a presidential candidate who (a) possessed an iota of decency and (b) hoped to be elected president might do. It would work for him in several ways. The media at large is salivating over the opportunity to launch a “Trump is acting presidential” narrative and has been sending smoke signals that it will set a very low bar for acceptable entries. A story such as “Trump Fires Campaign Manager Charged With Battering Reporter” would be such an entry. Firing a campaign manager charged specifically with battering a female reporter might also mark an opportunity to begin making repairs with the 70 percent of women who hate him, which is not to discount the many men who also find Lewandowski’s behavior deplorable. And, of course, firing Lewandowski might be seen as a way for Trump to demonstrate his supposedly excellent leadership ability. An excellent leader or “business manager,” or what have you, would likely feel compelled to fire a subordinate who lied to him about battering a female reporter and thus embarrassed the entire enterprise. Trump could even go on camera and employ that popular television catchphrase of his, the one in which he tersely severs a contract of at-will employment.

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