Trump's behavior needs to change, not just his staff
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State of the 2016 Race
A column for The Hill analyzing the current state of the 2016 presidential race.

It is the candidate's behavior that needs to change — or else Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is Biden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' Taylor Greene defends 'America First' effort, pushes back on critics MORE faces a catastrophic result in November.

1. All the 20/20 hindsight analysis of the firing of Donald Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, misses the only salient point.

2. The entire problem of the Trump campaign is Trump himself. Period.

3. His refusal to listen to anyone. His egotism. His total lack of humility. His refusal to admit anyone else on the planet knows anything. Hit narcissism that makes President Obama seem humble.

4. Imagine this: Obama says in a TV interview, "I'm speaking with myself, No. 1, because I have a very good brain and I've said a lot of things. ... [M]y primary consultant is myself."

5. What would the right have said about that?

6. Yet when "their" candidate says it, they just laugh it off.

7. The presidency is a deadly serious job and responsibility.

8. You campaign for it the way you would perform in it.

9. If that is true, then what would a Trump presidency look like?

10. His supporters always say the same thing: "He'd surround himself with the best people."

11. Oh, really? What evidence is there of that?

12. Based on this campaign, he'd have his three adult children running the country with him — and they'd listen to no one else.

13. Now, it is still June. Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro Chelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' MORE is a disastrous candidate who can be defeated — provided the right kind of campaign is waged against her. There is still time to do it.

14. Here's how.

15. Trump must stop being Trump.

16. That means no more tweets without approval from seasoned campaign aides.

17. No more rallies with an unscripted Trump riffing off the cuff, where he often gets himself into trouble.

18. For the next two weeks, The Donald needs to be out of the media. Instead, he needs to go back to school.

19. Yes. Candidate School. He needs a crash course in how to be a proper political candidate. He needs to read and be briefed on issues. He needs to rehearse. And he needs training in one of the most important candidate skills: discipline.

20. He must learn that his staff — if he hires one, and that is questionable right now because he has no money to pay anyone except to reimburse himself and his kids — will decide the theme of the day or maybe the week, and he has to stick with it.

21. That means never stepping on your theme, as he did last week when he gave an effective speech in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on terrorism in the morning but then ruined the coverage of it by banning The Washington Post from his campaign in the afternoon.

22. What all of this entails is for Trump to morph from a cowboy candidate to a controlled candidate.

23. So far, he has evinced no interest in making this change. Instead, he acts as if the canning of Lewandowski — who was really nothing more than a glorified body man — will do the trick.

24. It won't.

25. A campaign reflects the personality and the character of the candidate.

26. A disciplined, smart, relentless presidential candidate — i.e., Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter — will have a disciplined, smart, relentless campaign.

27. Trump's campaign so far has reflected him: a one-man show with good political instincts, no guardrails, no discipline and way, way too much ego and hubris.

28. He is in a race against a weak but hardworking candidate who is a pro and has a campaign of tested professionals who have weathered storms together.

29. He has squandered every advantage he has — except one.

30. The nation is miserable over the state of government and politics today. The voters have lost faith in almost every institution: the government, the parties, the media, etc.

31. In a country with such a huge sense of alienation, the people are looking for something new and different.

32. Trump was going to be that person.

33. Then his ego got the best of him.

34. Just as the 1994 Republican Revolution suddenly morphed into the Gingrich Revolution due to former Speaker Newt Gingrich's out-of-this-world ego, today's unprecedented anti-D.C. mood is much, much bigger than Donald Trump.

35. And yet his ego seems to think it is all about him.

36. And that is a problem no campaign shake-up can fix.

LeBoutillier is a former Republican congressman from New York and is the co-host of "Political Insiders" on Fox News Channel, Sunday nights at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. He writes semi-regular pieces in the Contributors section on the "State of the 2016 Race."