The Washington Post called the line “sexually suggestive” and Gillibrand called it a “sexist smear.” The media piled on Trump and soon headlines appeared saying the incident had raised Gillibrand’s profile.

That’s a neat trick — in a few badly chosen words, Trump lifted her and made himself look small and mean.

While all Americans want a tough president, few want a mean one, even rhetorically.

In fairness, Trump has steadily gotten more disciplined, but there are still too many Twitter eruptions, making it hard to change public perceptions. Examples of his deep-seated problem are evident in the latest Quinnipiac poll, which shows voters disapprove by 59 to 37 percent of the way he is doing his job.