Lewandowski’s star appears to fade in Trump campaign

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/04/19/lewandowskis-star-appears-to-fade-in-trump-campaign/

Massachusetts native and political provocateur Corey Lewandowski has apparently fallen out of favor in New York billionaire Donald Trump’s campaign to become the Republican nominee for president.

Lewandowski, born and raised in Lowell, reportedly fell victim to a campaign overhaul launched by The Donald last week. The move came as pundits and Republican insiders increasingly question whether Trump will emerge from this summer’s Republican National Convention as the nominee despite leading his rivals throughout the campaign thus far.

Though known as a rebellious political insider in New Hampshire, where he now lives with his family, Lewandowski launched onto the national stage after first advising Trump and then later heading up the former reality television star’s presidential campaign. An article profiling Lewandowski published by Politico.com over the summer called him a perfect match for the bombastic candidate, describing the pol as having “a knack for spectacle, an eye toward making money and a proven willingness to defy the Republican Party.”

But Lewandowski’s brash behavior led to missteps on the trail and headaches for Trump’s campaign. Authorities initially charged him with simple battery – a misdemeanor – after he allegedly yanked a former Brietbart.com reporter away from the candidate following a rally in Florida in early March.

Though prosecutors dropped the charge last week, the incident gave Trump’s remaining rivals – Ted Cruz and John Kasich –ammunition against the frontrunner. Cruz, a U.S. Senator from Texas, accused Trump’s campaign of having an abusive culture while Kasich, the governor of Ohio, called for Lewandowski’s removal.

Trump stood by his controversial campaign manager, calling him a “fine person.”

Lewandowski, though, may have fallen victim to Trump’s string of defeats at the hands of the Cruz campaign in recent weeks, as well as rising speculation that those delegates Trump has garnered from primaries and caucuses may switch to his rivals if he fails to secure the nomination in the first round of balloting in the party convention.

Signs of the shakeup began to emerge earlier this month, with reports of a “Hunger Games”-like struggle within Trump’s campaign. On Monday, CBS News reported that Lewandowski had been effectively demoted as recently hired political strategist Paul Manafort was given increasing control of the operation as well as the hunt for delegates.

Lewandowski has been “reduced to a role that amounts to a body man and scheduler,” CBS’s Major Garrett reported, citing sources within Trump’s campaign.

Another of Lewandowski’s allies within the campaign, national field director Stuart Jolly, resigned Monday, according to the Associated Press, after Trump brought in Rick Wiley, who previously managed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s aborted campaign, as national political director, overseeing the campaign’s filed operations.

Trump acknowledged some bruised egos from the campaign overhaul, AP said Tuesday, noting the changes come at an unusually late stage of the game.

The recent hires and growing role Manafort may not exactly be embraced by those who’ve been with him since the beginning, Trump said in an interview aired by Fox News Tuesday. When new people come in, “some people, their feelings get a little bit hurt,” Trump said.

But the candidate added that, “frankly, you know, we’re in a position where we’d like to see if we can close it out.”