Unpredictable presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s bid to bury the hatchet with Fox News and Megyn Kelly is a shrewd strategic move as he rumbles toward the general election — but it also is likely to prove to be a big ratings boost for the cable powerhouse.
But yesterday, amid rumors of secret talks between the candidate and the network, news emerged that olive branches had been extended and accepted.
The startling turnaround suggests changes are underway in Trump’s campaign — developments that bode well for his bid to win over women and Fox’s vast conservative audience, further isolating the GOP establishment that remains deeply at odds with the mercurial billionaire.
Ford O’Connell, a former presidential campaign adviser for U.S. Sen. John McCain and Sarah Palin, said, “It’s clear that some of the changes in Trump’s campaign are starting to work because Trump realizes he could very well win the nomination.
“But if he wants to win the general election he has to overcome the perception that he’s hostile to women,” O’Connell told me. “And that starts by burying the hatchet with Megyn Kelly.”
If Trump can “convincingly make peace” with Kelly, O’Connell said, then he’s going to “take an arrow out of the quiver of a lot of his opponents, including Hillary Clinton.”
But it can’t stop with Kelly. “He’s going to have to go further, but that’s a very high-profile situation that could help him move in the right direction,” O’Connell said.