BOSTON (CBS) – By now you’ve heard all about the big shakeup in the Donald Trump campaign, which includes the hiring as CEO of a top executive from Breitbart.com, Steve Bannon. What does this tell us about the direction he might pursue?
Breitbart.com is where you go if you like your news with a hardcore right-wing attitude, the mirror image of hard left-wing websites like the Daily Kos. On Breitbart.com, the country is always on the brink of coming apart, ominous Muslim connections loom around every corner, and if Hillary Clinton doesn’t quite equal Satan, it’s because that seems unfair to Satan.
Under Bannon’s guidance, the site has become one of the leading media cheerleaders for Trump.
And, according to published reports, the changes stem from Trump’s frustration over being pushed to run a more scripted, conventional presidential campaign, instead of the ad-libbed guerilla operation that made mincemeat of the competition during the Republican primaries.
“I am who I am,” Trump said the other day as this shakeup was in the works, and the word is he intends to return to the mix of unscripted rallies and media interviews that worked so well once upon a time. One problem – that formula hasn’t been working for some time. The insults and red meat rhetoric and off-message digressions that worked so well in the crowded primaries have proven to be a huge turnoff in the much wider, more diverse general election universe.
Everywhere I go, people ask me – does Trump really want to win this race? And I’ve always laughed that question off. But unless this return to failed tactics actually works for Trump, I may have to re-evaluate.