David Horowitz profile of Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon
Trump, then trailing in the polls, shook up his team and made Stephen K. Bannon the CEO of his campaign. Within weeks the Trump ship began to turn around, then move forward until the final long push through the battleground states where the shape of a presidential winner at last came into view. While Donald J. Trump on his own had already changed the political landscape, if he had not hired Steve Bannon as his chief executive officer, it is doubtful he would be president-elect today.
What he brought to Trump when they turned the tide of the campaign.
First, unlike Trump he had for decades been involved as a conservative partisan in the political and cultural wars that traditional Republicans were losing. He knew the terrain and its pitfalls as Trump, whose careers were in the popular culture and business could not.
Second, Bannon brought Trump his experience as an entrepreneur who in Breitbart.com had built one of the largest media sites in the world. Unlike others, Bannon was never horrified by candidate Trump’s stream-of-consciousness Twitter feed though he saw the need for more discipline in its contents. Unlike Trump’s critics, Bannon understood how important it was for the candidate to break free from the mainstream media filter that was busy crucifying him. With a feed that reached 40 million followers, Trump was able to speak directly to a larger audience than the hostile networks or the cable news shows could provide. Bannon helped Trump narrow his Twitter focus and become more effective as a candidate.
He also helped to persuade him to use teleprompters at his public events. This limited the degree to which the news media could distort his remarks and turn them against him. The teleprompters helped Trump to stay on message although the impulsive personality and direct address that so endeared him to his followers was still evident in the ad libs and asides which spiced his remarks. The results were immediately positive, as Trump began to climb in the polls.
Most importantly, Bannon and Trump shared a courage unique in Republican quarters. Call it character. The ability to stand firm under fire.