Donald Trump ousted campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Monday in a move that has all the awkwardness of a breakup...That is, if the person dumped was carefully watched by security as they gathered their things and then went on TV to defend themselves as an efficient and effective significant other.
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'16 from 30,000
For months, Donald Trump stood by embattled campaign manager Corey Lewandowski through unforced missteps, infighting and even assault allegations. But the soap opera came to an end today with Lewandowski's dismissal from Team Trump. Big, painful shakeups aren't unheard of -- think of John McCain in 2008, John Kerry in 2004, and Bob Dole in 1996, for example. Even Hillary Clinton went through her own painful staff shuffle in 2008. And for a campaign that has undoubtedly squandered a five-week advantage over Hillary Clinton in clinching the nomination, it's clear that a major move needed to be made. But, as in so many other things with the Trump campaign, it's not the WHAT of the headlines as much as the HOW that has bewildered political observers. The announcement came smack dab on a Monday morning with no offsetting new strategy or real positive spin, allowing the campaign to wallow even longer than it had to in yet another news cycle about a campaign in disarray. Lewandowski spoke publicly and at length about the breakup (first to NBC News, courtesy of NBC's Ali Vitali), sounding *so* positive about the Trump campaign that the famously bare-knuckled operative seemed downright naive about its obvious problems. Even if Lewandowski's ouster makes nervous Republicans feel a smidge better, the way it was handled probably gave them heartburn anyway. One other observation that can't be ignored: Sure, campaign shakeups happen. But if you notice from our list above… they happen a lot more with losing campaigns than with winning ones.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
- Must read: Benjy Sarlin's deep dive on the voters who support Donald Trump.
- Trump ousted his campaign manager.
- Here's our timeline of Lewandowski's pivotal moments.
- Donald Trump Jr. called the break up "amicable" in an interview with Katy Tur.
- Mark Murray outlines 3 reasons why Lewandowski is out.
- Staff shake-ups are historically a pretty big red flag for presidential campaigns.
- And from First Read: Why a GOP rebellion is likely to fail.
FOR THE RECORD…
"In hindsight, that was too exuberant a reaction to this personnel move."
-- Trump aide Michael Caputo statement announcing he will resign after tweeting "the witch is dead" following Lewandowski's firing.
Hillary Clinton delivers an economic speech in Columbus, Ohio.
Donald Trump meets with evangelical leaders in New York.