And yet no one should underestimate how unexpected the week was: a series of well-planned public events with dovetailed messages, expressions of empathy for the victims of national calamity, the appearance of an articulate and well-informed press agent to tease a string of rationality from her boss’s rambling, and even a boss who seemed to develop the unwonted skill of forcing himself to stop talking.
Was this all the result of a chastened Trump—a human Trump so bruised and battered by international mockery that he felt it necessary to take stock? An unreflective man moved at last to self-reflection, goaded by interior whispers of doubt in his own unerring instinct and wisdom?
If this is so, can we all of us, not only his speechwriters but civilians too, see a return in this time of crisis to a mode of national leadership that approaches (again the fingers tremble) the normal? Is such a thing possible?