When Corey Lewandowski agreed to manage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he knew he would get paid well and “it would be an amazing opportunity.” He never thought he would run arguably the most unconventional presidential campaign in American history, let alone one that would shock the world because it worked. “It was only after we started traveling with him that I began to fully appreciate that the country wanted dramatic change,” he says.
Lewandowski, 43, grew up in Lowell and got degrees from UMass Lowell and American University before politics took him to Windham, New Hampshire.
The Trump campaign’s tactics under Lewandowski also upended everything the experts believed about American presidential politics: that a candidate needed to raise lots of money, have lots of staff, and hold town hall meetings in early presidential primary states, for example. Could a campaign ever recover when a candidate attacks a former prisoner of war, a popular media figure, and, yes, the pope? Trump’s did.
The campaign’s constant turmoil included Lewandowski being charged with battery for grabbing and pulling a reporter (the charges were later dropped). He eventually lost his job with the campaign, but that was long after Trump wrapped up the Republican nomination over 16 competitors, including governors, senators, and one Bush. After the election, Lewandowski bypassed the White House and cofounded a consulting and lobbying firm, then left earlier this month after a flap. Still, he says, “I am so fortunate to be part of something that was not only improbable, but most people would say was impossible to pull off.”