Who Convinced Trump to Pivot?

It was Kellyanne Conway. It couldn’t have been Bannon? It was something Newt said a week ago. No, you’re wrong. It was Roger Ailes. Come on, let’s be serious. It was Ivanka and Jared. And Eric too.

Who caught Trump's ear and convinced him to finally pivot? Does it matter? Is it too late? Perhaps not is the reply to the latter question. But it does matter who convinced Trump to try a more focused and a little less provocative tone on the campaign trail. Here's why.

If the media decides that it was one of the above, or someone else perhaps, then we have the latest Rasputin whispering charms in Trump's ear, according to their evil authoritarian narrative. Which is hardly a convincing scenario when one is looking for a little stability and predictability to go along with the anger and rebelliousness that he has effectively harnessed since the primaries.

But the more likely scenario is the one the media has been joyfully trumpeting, if you will, during the really really rough few weeks before this surprising pivot. You see, if Trump is this supposedly stubborn egotistical entrepreneur who listens to no one so much as himself, then such a dramatic change as we have witnessed over the last week or so can only have come from the man himself. Regardless of who said what and regardless of when they said it.

Since he won the nomination, and especially since the conventions, his advisors and the less-than-enthusiastic GOP establishment have been begging him to pivot. To be more presidential. To focus the attacks where it hurts Hillary most. Not to kick up yet another controversy that does him little good in the polls.

So now that a pivot seems to be well underway, the rather predictable reaction on the part of much of the media is: it's too late, we don't believe him, it won't help.

Folks, we're 2 weeks from Labor Day. It's still summer, and as Trump touches down in Louisiana to do what neither Hillary nor Barack were willing to do (until The President had a sudden change of heart), and continues giving focused and effective speeches, it is a little foolish to write off his campaign this early.

But then again, that's what many in the media seem to be consciously doing. Yes the polls are not overly kind at this point, but so what? Previous winners have been down by as much or even more during the summer, only to rebound and peak just in time for November. Yes, journalists are right to be skeptical about how long this pivot will last, given the last few months. But as Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi and Vox's Ezra Klein have recently speculated (both Trump opponents obviously), some journalists are openly hostile to Trump and fear his possible election. And are thus consciously doing what they can to prevent it.

That may be a little too conspiratorial and it depends on their view that he's a threatening presence to First Amendment rights. If this pivot proves sustainable, they may just have to pack away their worries about an authoritarian Trump provoking a press into partisanship reporting beyond the pale. Maybe we'll just have a really nice tough fight this fall. Wouldn't that be something?

Posted by Keeley at August 24, 2016 11:33 PM
Comment #406982

Showboating in a flooded LA wasn’t a wise move IMHO. Schlepping playdough for the cameras did nothing to impress most of us. Obama and Hilary had it right, send real help and let the overworked emergency crews do what is needed, not pull security shifts for a politician wanting camera time.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 26, 2016 1:26 PM
Comment #407012

Oddsmakers are saying it’s 6 to one that HRC45 will be the next POTUS.

Posted by: oraoghaile at August 26, 2016 8:57 PM
Comment #407016

It was ordinairy American voters who convinced Trump to “soften” his position. Only hubris has kept the right from realizing the consequences of holding positions so far out of step with the American mainstream. America is a center-left nation and has been for quite some time. It’s why the GOP has won a majority of the presidential popular vote only once in my lifetime.

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