Twenty-seven days after his coronation in Cleveland and post-convention bounce, Donald Trump’s prospects appear to be dwindling — a precipitous decline he sought to reverse on Wednesday with a major shakeup of top campaign staff.
Weighed down by a dizzying string of successive and overlapping controversies, verbal spats, and political missteps, Trump saw his brief advantage evaporate in a haze of conflicts with everyone from the parents of a slain Muslim-American war hero and the most powerful elected official in Republican politics to a crying baby.
And that was just the beginning.
Last week, the nominee set off alarm bells across the political spectrum with comments suggesting“Second Amendment people” could step up as a last line of defense against Clinton and her potential judicial appointees. That mess was hardly settled by the time Trump launched a new attack on President Barack Obama, repeatedly calling him the “founder” of ISIS — curious phrasing he clung to for days before seeking to defuse critics with an attack on reporters he said “don’t get sarcasm.”
Now, with the candidate short on room for error, a gamble: Trump has brought in a new chief executive and campaign manager to right the ship. Let’s look back at how we got here.
First, a bounce
It’s almost hard to remember the hot summer night in Cleveland almost four weeks ago, when Trump accepted the Republican party’s presidential nomination with a dire warning — and a sober promise.
The country is in decline, he told an approving audience of Republican delegates, cracking up domestically while its citizens are forced to endure “one international humiliation after another.”
Reversing the rot would require something special. Quite simply, it would require Donald Trump.
“I alone can fix” the broken and corrupt political system, he said, before declaring to the more than 32 million watching at home, “I am your voice.”