Maybe it’s finally starting to dawn on Trump that he can’t bulldoze his way to the White House. He’s got new advisers now, most notably political veteran Paul Manafort, who is leading Team Trump as it pivots to a protracted and probably messy delegate fight at the July convention.
Judging from the subdued Trump who appeared on stage Tuesday, it’s a safe bet Manafort is also directing the candidate to pivot himself to come across as a more agreeable. That plan appears to start with avoiding name-calling of his opponents and giving shorter, more direct speeches. (Perhaps less time in front of the mic to make a mistake?)…
“If he makes the transition to being a really professional presidential candidate, he will be really formidable,” predicted former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) recently. “And if he does not, he will not be the nominee.”
With nothing less than the nomination and perhaps presidency on the line, the next question is if Trump can actually sustain a retooled approach. It’s possible. We’ve seen Trump show brief flashes of discipline before, after all. Way back in September, before the second Republican primary debate, Trump admitted he could “tone it down a little bit.”