a candidate running for office who publicly supports one group to win election, but uses his executive or legislative powers to assist an opposing group; it should not be confused with a sleeper agent who has been brainwashed into working for a political party
Senator Iselin is the original Manchurian candidate: he espouses McCarthyism but he is in fact a Communist.
The attacks, mainly anonymous e-mails, have woven together various threads — his middle name “Hussein;” schooling in Muslim Indonesia; his Chicago pastor’s embrace of the anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan; and his calls for dialogue with Iran — to portray Obama as the Muslim Manchurian candidate. ~Roger Cohen (NYT 02/11/2008)
One who has been brainwashed into preforming actions (such as assassination) upon recieving a special code word or phrase. The candidate acts and behaves normally before recieving the trigger, with no knowledge of what he will do, or what he has done while under the influence of mind control.
The assassination of the president was carried out by a manchurian candidate, under the control of a foreign power.