Trump’s Best Week Yet

Trump is running high recently.

This has been, almost unequivocally, Donald Trump’s best week since he launched his campaign for President, just over a year ago.

He hasn’t insulted any veterans, he hasn’t attacked his fellow Republicans, and he hasn’t called for the mass deportation of 11 million people. He hasn’t called the media unfair, attacked women who disagree with him, or alleged the election will be rigged against him*. He hasn’t called the President of the United States the founder of an anti-Western Jihadi terror group and he hasn’t asked “2nd Amendment people” to assassinate his opposition. He hasn’t invited Russians to interfere with American elections, he hasn’t incited violence at his rallies and he hasn’t had to be beeped when networks cover his events.

He hired a new campaign manager, a well-known pollster, and a new campaign “chief executive”, an established right wing media guru, and replaced his former campaign chief when allegations about Paul Manafort’s ties to Russia and Ukraine came forward. He’s begun preparing for the fall’s presidential debates, with help from the creatorer of the right wing media apparatus. He even apologized, in a very non-specific way, for using the wrong words “sometimes”. Those are steps a sane, normal campaign would take.

Yet Donald Trump has also failed to deliver any major addresses. He failed to announce any new policies, or elaborate on any of his established policies. He’s cut back on his appearances in the media, save for his friend Sean Hannity’s Fox News program. His campaign schedule has also been cut back, with speeches in Nevada and Oregon being canceled, and those speeches that he has given have been teleprompter, instead of his usual off-the-cuff style. A major immigration policy speech in Colorado was also canceled, with little notice or reasoning being given. The rate he tweets at has actually also slowed down in the last seven days, with only two or three original tweets being posted each day, and fewer retweets than usual. He’s simply not making himself available to make campaign mistakes.

Some in the media have begun to praise Donald Trump’s Hail Mary campaign staff shakeup as the cause for his best week. But I disagree with that idea. It’s that Donald Trump just isn’t making himself available to make the kind of bombastic remarks that have led his campaign to fall nearly 10% behind Hillary Clinton in the polls. He has not had some Divine intervention and he has not picked up a copy of “How to Run a Campaign for President.” He’s simply stepped away from the microphones and put his phone down, assuming he’s a phone-based Tweeter.

Donald Trump’s best week yet has not been caused by anything he has done, but by what he has not done. He’s essentially removed himself from the public eye, instead sending surrogates like Rudy Giuliani and Michael Cohen to attack, for Giuliani, Hillary Clinton’s health and, in Cohen’s case, to deny the existence of polls that show Trump lagging behind. It should be a worrying sign for the Republican Party that their candidate has to essentially vanish from the spotlight while Hillary Clinton comes under heavy fire for the relationship between her State Department and the Clinton Foundation in order to have a passable week.

Donald Trump may or may not be planning a “great pivot to the center” for the general election, but this is not it. This is him taking a break from campaigning.

* Between the time this article was started and the time it was finished, Donald Trump tweeted “Tried watching low-rated @Morning_Joe this morning, unwatchable! @morningmika is off the wall, a neurotic and not very bright mess!” and “Some day, when things calm down, I’ll tell the real story of @JoeNBC and his very insecure long-time girlfriend, @morningmika. Two clowns!”