Trump has defended the former Fox News head from accusations of widespread, decades-long harassment, saying “he’s a very good person.” But it’s unclear how Ailes can help Trump, who has come off badly when challenged by women like Megyn Kelly and Carly Fiorina, with the challenge of facing off against Hillary Clinton, a skilled debater.
Given the cloud that hangs over Ailes, he might not be the best adviser for a presidential candidate who is facing the biggest gender gap in more than half a century. Yes, Ailes does have an impressive career as a political consultant, having advised former Republican presidents like Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. But Ailes is also a creature of the hard right, who knows how to speak to the deeply conservative Fox News audience. That’s a demographic that Trump has already maxed out on. If he wants to improve, he’ll need to speak to centrist voters, which Ailes has little experience in addressing.
But perhaps Ailes is part of Trump’s long-term plan. Trump has hinted that Ailes could become a campaign manager, presumably if he has to ditch Paul Manafort, who is dealing with his own ethical controversies. And if the candidate does want to launch Trump TV after the election, then Ailes would be a good man to have around.