Being Donald Trump’s confidante and hatchet man has its benefits, but ultimately, Zod’s mercy is sufficient unto itself, Corey Lewandowski has learned.
Just 2 weeks ago, New York Magazine featured a relaxed and confident Lewandowski lounging by the pool at Mar-a-Lago.
Lewandowski didn’t appear to be worried about his job. He was kicking back in a Trump-brand golf shirt, drinking a 16-ounce Monster energy drink, and chatting with deputy campaign manager Michael Glassner, a former Bob Dole adviser, who at age 52 has been seen as the campaign’s grown-up.
Ahh, how nice it is to have the favor of the boss.
[Trump] hired Lewandowski thinking that the 42-year-old operative had two crucial assets: his Koch connections and an intimate knowledge of New Hampshire’s quirky political terrain. The first assumption was wrong, but on the second, Lewandowski proved his worth. And he gained Trump’s trust by demonstrating he possessed the quality Trump values most: loyalty. “This campaign, above all other things, is about loyalty,” Lewandowski said. In what’s been said to be a unique arrangement for a campaign manager, Lewandowski travels everywhere with Trump, a role normally reserved for the campaign’s “body man.”
And now, that’s exactly what Lewandowski is–and all he is–the body man. CBS News confirmed Monday that the
former campaign manager is now just a dog on a leash.
Paul Manafort, hired last week to be the convention manager, will now run the Trump campaign, with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski reduced to a role that amounts to body man and scheduler.
The number of staffers directly reporting to Lewandowski has also been dramatically reduced under the new structure, CBS News’ Sopan Deb reports.
Manafort moved all of Lewandowski’s personal minions to Rick Wiley, who came over from Scott Walker’s campaign after bleeding it dry. This caused national field director Stuart Jolly to resign.
Jolly, the sources said, was almost universally disliked by Trump state operatives who found him amateurish, arrogant and substandard. But he had been hired by Lewandowski, whom he’s been close to for many years, and his departure in a row with Wiley further highlights the shifting power structure within Trump’s senior campaign management.
But Trump only hires the best people.
Wiley’s effect on the Trump campaign can be immediately seen.
Trump will start spending substantially more money than he has since he started his campaign, with some $20 million for advertising in the big states in May and June.
Of course, it’s much harder to spend a billionaire dry than it was Walker, whose campaign never really got the traction it needed in the crowded field.
These are actually all good, needed things for the Trump campaign, which, if successful, will have pulled off the most massive pivot from reality-show fodder to professional campaign organization, in modern political history.
Then again, Trump is the master of bluster and Pyrrhic victories. Think of the USFL. Trump won, and beat the NFL in court. The league got a $3 judgement ($1 and triple damages). Zod moved on. It’s much more likely that Lewandowski, like Christie (“the plane’s over there”), Carson, Huckabee, Palin, and everyone else he’s used and discarded, will have nothing to show for his loyalty except bruised knees.