Donald Trump has at last assembled a team capable of winning this election. This process began with the selection of Mike Pence as his running mate. Ivanka and Jared Kushner apparently succeeded in convincing Trump that Pence, not Christie or Gingrich, was the seasoned political pro, with unimpeachable conservative credentials, that he needed. It was Pence who convinced him to endorse Paul Ryan. And Pence is no doubt behind the appointment of his confidante Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager. The addition of Steve Bannon as campaign CEO, apparently in charge of messaging, completes the inner troika surrounding him.
This all seems familiar. Early in 1980, when Reagan realized John Sears wasn’t up to the job of running a Presidential campaign, he turned to an old pro, James Baker, to right the ship. Reagan’s troika was Baker, Mike Deaver and Ed Meese. Mike Pence is the new Baker, Conway is the new Deaver, and Bannon is the new Meese. Ivanka fills the role of Nancy Reagan, and is perfect for the part. The departure of Manafort clears the deck for the new team. His presence would only be a distraction going forward. Trump runs a tight ship, and now has everything he needs to win.
While he was forced to shake up his campaign, Reagan’s message remained constant, as will Trump’s. The Trump campaign is changing its tone and style. The substance is unaffected. American nationalism in every sphere, be it with respect to refugee, immigration, trade or foreign policy. Populism, in the form of rejecting the corrupt Washington cartel, the entire media/political establishment, and political correctness.