In the final days of the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump’s candidacy is a jarring split screen: the choreographed show of calm and confidence orchestrated by his staff, and the neediness and vulnerability of a once-boastful candidate now uncertain of victory.
On the surface, there is the semblance of stability that is robbing Hillary Clinton of her most potent weapon: Mr. Trump’s self-sabotaging eruptions, which have repeatedly undermined his candidacy. Underneath that veneer, turbulence still reigns, making it difficult for him to overcome all of the obstacles blocking his path to the White House.
The contrasts pervade his campaign. Aides to Mr. Trump have finally wrested away the Twitter account that he used to colorfully – and often counterproductively – savage his rivals. But offline, Mr. Trump still privately muses about all of the ways he will punish his enemies after Election Day, including a threat to fund a ” super PAC ” with vengeance as its core mission.
His polished older daughter, Ivanka, sat for a commercial intended to appeal to suburban women who have recoiled from her father’s incendiary language. But she discouraged the campaign from promoting the ad in news releases, fearing that her high-profile association with the campaign would damage the businesses that bear her name.