A week ago, Donald Trump won New York with massive margins and then, in his victory speech, called Ted Cruz “Senator Cruz” instead of “Lyin’ Ted.” Practically every pundit on TV lost it. This was a new Donald Trump, they said. A more presidential Trump. A general election Trump. Later that week, reports emerged that Paul Manafort, who had recently usurped Corey Lewandowski as Trump’s right-hand man, had been pushing Trump to be kindler, gentler, and more presidential.
It didn’t take. Trump was back to calling Cruz “Lyin’ Ted” the day after New York voted. A few days later he whined, “My wife tells me to be more presidential, my daughter tells me to be more presidential, and Paul Manafort and Corey (Lewandowski) and a lot of them say, ‘Be more presidential,’ and now people are starting to say, ‘You know, look what got you here.’” In this case, “people” seems to be a stand-in for “Donald Trump,” but at any rate it seems like his “presidential” turn is over.
It’s not entirely clear how much of this is about not wanting to tone things down and how much is about being pissed at Manafort. According to Politico, Trump is not at all pleased with Manafort for two reasons: for telling top Republicans that Trump was “projecting an image” for voters, and for hiring a bunch of his lobbying buddies, who were apparently known as “the torturer’s lobby.” (Trump was also apparently upset about reports that Manafort had lobbied for Saudi Arabia, but that one’s kind of on him.)
With or without Manafort at his side, Trump is going to keep getting calls to be “more presidential,” but things are starting to revert back to where they were a few weeks ago: Trump and Lewandowski against the world.