On Tuesday night, Donald Trump managed to make it a whole news cycle without insulting any ethnic groups or making any of his endorsers embarrassed to associate with him.
Still reeling from the mess he created with a nakedly prejudicial attack on a federal judge, but also celebrating primary victories in a race that no one else is contesting, the presumptive Republican nominee stepped behind a microphone at a golf club in New York and delivered what Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post called “a speech meant for one audience and with one message. The audience was the Republican establishment—led by Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The message: I get it. I need to do and be better. I can.”
Trump used a teleprompter and adopted a speaking style markedly different from his own. His remarks weren’t without barbs. He attacked Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But he did so in the way that all Republicans attack partisan rivals.
He sounded like… well, like a typical politician.
Now, I don’t actually believe that he can keep up this invented persona. He’s been shooting off his mouth for decades. Throughout this campaign, he’s shown no evidence of possessing the discipline, desire, or self-awareness to avoid offensive bombast.