In typical “Art of the Deal” style, Donald Trump may have just made the most brilliant move of his campaign – he has hired political consultant Paul Manafort to oversee, manage and be responsible for all activities pertaining to the delegate process and all convention efforts related to securing the GOP nomination for Trump.
“The nomination process has reached a point that requires someone familiar with the complexities involved in the final stages,” Trump said in a released statement. “I am organizing these responsibilities under someone who has done this job successfully in many campaigns. This will allow the rest of my team to deal with the increasing needs of a national campaign for both the pre-convention phase and most importantly, the general election.”
Manafort has extensive experience in convention floor fights. He helped to manage the convention floor for Gerald Ford during the 1976 convention, when Ford was facing off against Ronald Reagan, and also helped to manage the convention floor for Ronald Reagan in 1980, George H. W. Bush in 1988 and Bob Dole in 1996.
Vin Weber, a former congressman who is an advisor to Kasich, said of Manafort, “He’s one of the true first-rate professionals in the Republican Party. There are only a handful of people, I really mean that, who can honestly say they know how a national convention works. He’s one of them. This is one of the most impressive things I’ve seen the Trump organization do.”
“As part of the campaign team, my job is to secure and protect Mr. Trump’s nomination and that is what we will do,” Manafort vowed, adding he intended to work closely with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and deputy campaign chief Michael Glassner. “I am honored that he has allowed me to join him in this effort. Mr. Trump has created a historic campaign that has moved the American people. He is on the verge of an incredible victory.”
“No one underestimates Manafort, seen as a formidable opponent who is unafraid to go to the mat for controversial, polarizing clients,” one longtime friend said.
He sounds like a man after Trump’s own heart – one who never gets into anything to lose.