Presidential Campaign

Hiring of Breitbart exec spells utter doom for Trump

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The hiring of Breitbart News Chairman Steve Bannon as the Trump campaign’s new CEO is beyond parody.

Bannon is “a legitimately sinister figure, a “bully,” and a “dictator” who is “prone to a lot of tirades.” And that’s just what former employees say about him.

In other words, Donald Trump hired a version of himself.

Bannon has ruined the Breitbart News operation by running it as a Trump super-PAC full of sensationalized stories and Trump fan fiction, rather than the sharp, muscular, anti-establishment vision the late Andrew Breitbart had for the enterprise.

Donald Trump is in a room with the walls closing in.

Every week is worse than the one before it.

{mosads}His deficit in crucial states like Virginia and Florida is growing. He has no campaign. He has no field offices. He is finally starting TV ads this weekend, as the Summer Olympics end.

I don’t know what Kellyanne Conway can do as campaign manager. She is a skilled and respected operative and pollster, known for expertise in messaging to women.

But Trump has resisted all advice for months and he has refused to pivot to the middle, to professionalize his campaign, to grow as a candidate or to unify Republicans.

Bannon’s hiring is a huge middle finger to campaign Chairman Paul Manafort. Manafort has been trying (and failing) to drag Trump out of a primary mindset into a general election where Trump will need to win 65 to 70 million votes.

The net effect of hiring a loose cannon like Bannon is that private discussions will intensify within the GOP about forfeiting the general election and instead focusing on down-ballot races to try to hold the House and the Senate.

Trump wants to hold more rallies and be more aggressive, which doubles down on what is clearly not working.

Trump likes to be surrounded by sycophants who stroke his ego and agree with his asinine boasts.

After firing Corey Lewandowski as campaign manager, Trump has incredibly continued to seek his useless counsel.

Trump’s children would never allow Lewandowski to return to the campaign, so hiring Bannon is the next best thing.

If Bannon is the answer, then I don’t know what the question is. He says he now has control over the entire operation, including budgets and staff.

The interests of Trump’s campaign and the GOP are quickly diverging.

This latest staff shakeup is discouraging for anyone that wants to see Trump improve as a candidate and avert a modern electoral landslide loss.

Donald Trump and Steve Bannon may start a new media empire after the election. They will find a way to make money off this.

Grifters always win.

Mackowiak is syndicated columnist; an Austin, Texas-based Republican consultant; and a former Capitol Hill and George W. Bush administration aide.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

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