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Between his 1976 GOP primary loss to incumbent President Gerald Ford and his comeback triumph in 1980 against then-President Jimmy Carter, Reagan ‘cleaned house,’ according to Craig Shirley of Townhall. These actions, he claims, helped push ‘The Gipper’ to victory.

“At a critical point in the 1980 campaign, Ronald Reagan had enough and cleaned house of his senior political advisors including campaign manager John Sears. One staffer would later recall, ‘Ronald Reagan would not have come so close in 1976 had he not hired John Sears; and Ronald Reagan would not have won the GOP nomination had he not fired John Sears in 1980,’” Shirley began.

“As it does on so many occasions, history repeats itself. Like Reagan before him, Donald Trump now must clean house if he hopes to make a serious political comeback,” he continued.

Shirley said that Trump’s 2016 success was mostly due to his own campaign strategy, which included depending heavily on his status as a true outsider candidate to draw large audiences and free media coverage because his candidacy was seen “as a novelty.”

Furthermore, Trump “had the good fortune” of running against Hillary Clinton, “the worst presidential candidate in recent history,” and “devastated” her in each of their debates.

Trump also used a “sound state-by-state strategy” that helped him win in blue or trending blue states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, whereas Clinton “ignored” and took them for granted.

But in 2020, however, Shirley said Trump’s loss “was mostly the doing of bad consultants and advisors.”

“I know because I know many of them. Then some have the nerve to write their own autobiographies as if they themselves are important,” he added.

Shirley then laid out what is ahead for Trump in the upcoming presidential campaign:

As we approach 2024, all the right conditions are there for Trump to win again should he decide to run. Joe Biden has proven to be an unmitigated disaster in every aspect of his presidency. Crime is rampant, inflation has skyrocketed, shelves are empty, and the southern border between America and Mexico is practically nonexistent. In the realm of foreign affairs, Biden shamed the country when he disgracefully allowed the Taliban to take back control of Afghanistan and abandoned hundreds of Americans still stranded in that godforsaken country, while simultaneously allowing our adversaries to run circles around us. Don’t get me started on the stupidity of Ukraine.

In sum, Trump has the perfect recipe for re-election, but it won’t matter if he doesn’t first get his own house in order.

Shirley reminisced about his time working for the New York Racing Association before recalling a popular saying at the track: “A good jockey cannot make a bad horse win, but a terrible jockey may make a good horse lose.”

“Campaigns are fresh and campaigns are stale. Campaigns need new personnel, new ideas and new initiatives. And Trump’s is no exception. As my old boss Terry Dolan was fond of saying, ‘never forget the first three letters of the word ‘consultant.’ And yet pollsters and consultants have become millionaires out of their malpractice,” Shirley wrote.

Shirley identified former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as someone Trump should embrace, calling him a “close buddy” as well as “probably the sharpest person in American politics now.”

Gingrich is “polished, articulate, knowledgable of laws and regulations,” and can supply the former president “and by extension the entire GOP with the ideas they’ll need to retake control of Washington in the coming years if they win the House, Senate, and White House again.”

Shirley advised Trump to keep “people who bring needless controversy and buffoonery to his brand within his circle at arm’s length,” citing “the Rudy Gulianis and Sydney Powells of the world.”

“He doesn’t need an infinite menagerie of political consultants who only know how to lose elections,” he added, adding that Trump should avoid hiring “anyone else who thinks it will benefit Trump to relitigate the 2020 election.”

“That election is over, and Trump’s primary focus should be on the future and how he can win there rather than harebrained schemes to overturn Joe Biden’s win that are almost certainly doomed to fail,” he wrote, adding that the vast majority of Americans are far more concerned about so-called ‘kitchen table issues,’ such as inflation, gas prices, and the ongoing supply chain crisis, all of which directly and daily affect them.”

“Since Jimmy Carter, Joe Biden has been the worst president in history.” When he enters a town, bridges crumble. Regardless of who emerges as the Republican Party’s standard bearer, their campaign will require competent advisers. At the end of the day, Americans want competence, and Trump will benefit greatly from surrounding himself with competent individuals when it comes time for Americans to vote in the next presidential election,” Shirley said.

“Biden has provided Trump with a target-rich environment, and he does not require the distraction of lousy pollsters and terrible strategists,” he concludes.

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