Our Opinion: Trump tries to thread tricky election needle

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Donald Trump's shake-up of his campaign can only help the soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee. It will be more difficult to appease the party establishment without angering his supporters.

Mr. Trump dumped campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who comported himself like a bouncer or security chief. Along with his self-defeating belligerence, he was in way over his head.

Mr. Lewandowski's former chief rival, Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump's campaign chairman, brings considerable experience to his role as undisputed campaign leader. Much of that experience comes through the image-building of various despots and guerrilla leaders like pro-Russian Ukrainian leader Victor Yanukovych and brutal Angolan rebel chief Jonas Savimbi who were represented by Mr. Manfort's lobbying firm.

Mr. Manafort's difficult task will be to win over the Republican establishment, specifically deep-pocketed campaign contributors, that Mr. Trump ran against in sweeping through the primaries. Republican leaders didn't appreciate being mocked and belittled by Mr. Trump, who bragged that he was so wealthy he didn't need the money of conservative groups and businessmen.

By appealing to these groups, Mr. Trump risks alienating the voters who appreciate his lone wolf, anti-establishment persona. That's a tough needle to thread, but he shouldn't be underestimated. The Republican establishment is paying dearly for making that mistake.


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