ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Paul Manafort looks the part of a chairman: 67, well-coiffed, bespoke-suited and appropriately Rolexed. In the world of Donald Trump, that’s his title: campaign chairman and chief strategist.
And as chairmen do, Manafort assured us that his enterprise will be crowned with success: Trump will beat Hillary Clinton soundly in November.
“He’s gonna win,” Manafort said over breakfast at a local diner called The Royal in Old Town Alexandria. “He gonna win unless we — meaning people like me — screw it up. This is not a hard race.”
Why? In Manafort’s summary: Trump will remain Trump.
He may moderate a few views — think Muslims — but he won’t and doesn’t need to back down on anything. He probably won’t pick a woman or a member of a minority group as a running mate because that would be “pandering.” He won’t win George W. Bush’s levels of Latino support, but he will pick up enough Hispanic votes in key swing states. He won’t get the Bush family’s support and doesn’t want it. Trump just has to be presidential enough in the first debate (no body parts mentioned), pick an experienced running mate, and run Clinton into the ground as a corrupt version of Barack Obama.
He’ll win with white men and women, plus just enough of everyone else. Simple.
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