- The Washington Times - Monday, April 18, 2016

Donald Trump has done something fascinating in the past few weeks: He’s stayed out of the limelight.

No retweeting wife-disparaging jabs. No Sunday morning talk shows. And at a Friday rally in upstate New York, he took out a chart to explain job losses in the state and how he could repair them if president.

Mr. Trump, it seems, has — and at long last — moved into the more presidential phase of his GOP bid.



Yes, it’s true Mr. Trump is beating down the Republican National Committee by complaining about state convention rules, like in Colorado, where delegates, not state residents, voted in the state caucus. Mr. Trump has exposed just how intricate — and some would say “rigged” — the primary and caucus system can appear to Republican voters.

By throwing down the curtain, Mr. Trump is both educating the American public, and irritating the establishment and anti-Trump forces, many of whom make their livings off the murkiness of the system.

It’s a winning message. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, nearly two-thirds of Republicans think the eventual nominee should be the person with the most votes, a key tenant in Mr. Trump’s argument.

And more than half of Republicans also agree with Mr. Trump that if he has the most delegates going into the July convention and doesn’t end up as the nominee, that’s unacceptable, according to the poll.

Mr. Trump, has stayed on course with his “rigged” message since losing Colorado earlier this month, and it will likely give him momentum going into New York, where he’s expected to win handily Tuesday.

The more focused message, the restraint on his Twitter feed, staying out of the Sunday press-show limelight — that’s all coincided with the arrival of Paul Manafort to Mr. Trump’s team — who’s slated to organize the convention and delegate process, and is taking on increased responsibilities. Mr. Trump has also hired former RNC political director Rick Wiley, who is well-versed in the convention rule-making process.

There’s no saying Mr. Trump’s campaign discipline will continue. However, it’s notable, especially to those who doubted Mr. Trump’s ability and willingness to listen to outside advisers.

Mr. Trump could hopefully be entering into the more presidential phase of his campaign, something many of his supporters — and detractors — have been waiting for.

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