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Corey Lewandowski: The Soap Opera Continues

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 29/03/2016 Arnold Steinberg


Send him to the stockade?

Corey Lewandowski: The Soap Opera Continues


The story - at least for this news cycle -- is about the campaign manager.
That's never good news for the candidate. It's all supposed to be about the campaign. It used to be that way.
The simple battery charge against Donald Trump's campaign manager takes Trump off message.
But that's nothing new. Trump himself often takes Trump off message.
For example, last week Trump gave a credible speech at AIPAC. Finally, we thought, Trump gets it. He is acting like the front-runner, even presidential. Despite his curious performance earlier that day at a Washington Post editorial board meeting, perhaps Trump is serious.
The next day, radical Islamists staged yet another terrorist attack, this one in Brussels. As usual, President Barack Obama pretended that militant Presbyterians or extreme Methodists, maybe radical Episcopalians, staged the attack. And over several days, President Obama continued his travels in further embarrassment of the United States. For no reason that was in our national self-interest, the Apologist-in-Chief was doing penance for America - this time legitimizing the brutal Castro regime, which still imprisons and even tortures dissidents. Obama took his photo in front of a rendering of murderer Che Guevara. It may be that Guevara's repeated homicides do not arouse the Left, but glamorized Guevara was a serial and passionate racist (blacks did not fare well in Che's Cuba), and that sin is beyond political incorrectness. But the Castro brothers hate Jews, and growing Jew-hatred continues in vogue on the Left.
Then, on to Argentina, where Obama continued to make a fool of himself. While the Western world mourned Brussels, Obama was doing the tango. This was all justified to show that Obama "has a full plate," and terrorists do not affect his lifestyle. Obama was soon among students, not as a pro-American champion of liberty for all and a vibrant free market economy to grow a middle class. Instead we have Obama's crony capitalism that favors solar energy and Wall Street, and now he seemed to gush over socialism and appeared possibly ambivalent toward communism. As his term in office comes to an end, more and more we see the real Obama, the radical leftist who in 2008 pretended to be moderate.
And, with all this happening, what was Donald Trump doing last week?
He was resending Twitter photos comparing his wife Melania to Heidi Cruz. Defending all nonsense, Trump said - -as if he were a child on the playground, "Lyin Ted started it." If Trump were going to Twit photos, at least do Obama in front of Che, and then Obama en flagrante tango.
And now, in recent days Trump has complained the Republican Party wants to steal the nomination from him. Trump does not have the nomination, yet. And the same rules apply to him as have applied to all others for years, decades, a century or more. If he, Trump, gets a majority of delegates, he wins the nomination, on the first ballot, or beyond. If he fails on the first ballot, an open convention might occur. Therefore, prudence would dictate that your campaign prepare. You learn the rules (they vary by state) and master them (and the convention rules). You start contacting delegates. This is all part of The Art of the Deal. We just learned that the Trump campaign, belatedly, has now recruited Paul Manafort, the kind of Washington insider/lobbyist that Trump rails against, to be his convention/delegate strategist.
Why did it take so long for Trump to get his act together about Cleveland? He doesn't know the process, and he runs his own show. His campaign manager tells him what he wants to hear. Worse, the manager was adrift, preoccupied. His priority was kissing up to Trump, being on the road with the candidate.
And in the course of his sycophancy, Corey Lewandowski supposedly committed what Florida authorities call "simple battery" against journalist Michelle Fields.
To be sure, as we must always say, Lewandowski is innocent until proven guilty, of this heinous crime, almost unspeakable. (Did he push her, or what?) In normal circumstances, Lewandowski would have quietly apologized to Fields. He was zealous, or didn't intend what happened, whatever. This should not be a big deal. But in trademark Trump fashion, Lewandowski doubled down. Soon her account was challenged - why doesn't she file a complaint? Be careful what you wish for. She did.
The charge against Lewandowski is a misdemeanor that could be thrown out or plea-bargained. But the Florida standard makes "the case" against Lewandowski plausible. For the Trump campaign, this sordid episode is yet another distraction, at best. At worst, it supports the narrative that the Trump campaign is about bullies. Previously unresolved is Lewandowski playing bouncer to a protestor at another Trump rally, all this amidst the controversy over "Trump violence." The charge against Trump is unfair, because the catalysts are the protestors, some looking for trouble. But Trump's rhetoric is careless. The perception is there, and Trump is insensitive about it all.
A week ago I suggested Lewandowski do what other campaign managers do, and get back to the campaign office. He might spend some time with Manafort, an adult who works the smoke-filled back rooms, and at least prepare for the worst, which is to say, a possible open convention.
But Trump might put Lewandowski on stage again, as Trump triples-down on his campaign manager. Trump backs up his people. Trump believes loyalty shows strength. If Trump wins the Wisconsin primary, he could sing the praises of Lewandowski. If Trump loses, that loss could provide Trump with the excuse to say to his aspiring bouncer, "You're fired," exiled from the campaign, to oversee security at Trump Towers.
For the supporters of Donald Trump, the charge against Corey Lewandowski is dirty pool, more evidence of a double standard, part of the conspiracy to take down Trump. For many Americans, it is much ado about nothing.

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