Financial Times reports: The Donald Trump who greeted supporters in the lobby of Trump Tower on Tuesday night bore little resemblance to the Republican frontrunner of yore.
Atypically gracious and restrained, Mr Trump spoke coherently on jobs and the economy, referred respectfully to his Republican opponents as “Senator Cruz” and “Governor Kasich” and stuck to his prepared remarks. Gone were the lewd insults or jabs at the press.
It was a political makeover like few had seen before — and it bore all the trappings of his new campaign chief, Paul Manafort.
A DC veteran political operative who has worked for the likes of Gerald Ford and George H W Bush, Mr Manafort, 67, was hired by Mr Trump last month to bring order to the Trump campaign and cement Mr Trump’s delegate count, a thorny issue ahead of the Republican National Convention.
Yet Mr Manafort’s true gift lies in political resuscitations and re-brandings, say former business associates.
Over a 40-year career in Washington, he has attempted to engineer them for a cast of, sometimes unsavoury, clients that include Angola’s Jonas Savimbi, the Saudi government, and the Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos.
But it is his work with Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovich, that stands out as a particular showcase both of Mr Manafort’s talents — and the controversy surrounding their use. [Continue reading…]