Jack Tame: Is this the beginning of the end?

It doesn't matter that he mightn't believe his own statement. Photo / AP
It doesn't matter that he mightn't believe his own statement. Photo / AP

You knew it was a bad night when Donald Trump turned down the cameras. No gloating press conference. No stream-of-consciousness rant. In Wisconsin, Trump went down hard and he didn't want to front.

It capped a sensationally bad week. His campaign manager was charged in Florida with criminal battery, which The Don backed up on national TV by stating that women should be punished for having abortions.

It doesn't matter that he mightn't believe his own statement - the interview blunder exposed the danger of making up policy on the spot. Could this be it? Could this be the end? Is Trumpism fizzling out?

It's a brave pundit that strikes down The Don's chances this far through the race but it's an unusual phenomenon to see the leading campaign in the US primary race weakening by the day.

Forty-eight hours after being hammered in Wisconsin, Trump promoted his delegate manager to begin preparing for what might well be a contested convention in July.

The next big competition is in New York and Trump leads in the Empire State polls.

But the greatest benefit of competing in his own backyard is that after nine weeks of non-stop rallying, Trump might actually get a break.

Imagine kissing all those babies and shaking all of those hands.

Imagine feigning interest in all of those individual lives. Imagine needing to be reminded of whatever dire little county you were visiting, in whatever godforsaken corn-belt state.

Imagine Googling yourself 50 times a day and being hounded by 100 news cameras. Imagine all the fake smiles.

Running for President is an exercise in extraordinary endurance.

Fly. Speak. Fly. Speak. Fly. Speak. Repeat.

Forget Richie McCaw and GODZone.

Criss-crossing the US while running for the White House is enough to shave years off a normal person's life.

Most of us would go troppo. Most of us would lose the plot.

And - sure - maybe Trump is finally faltering.

But then maybe again, all he really needs is a good 12 hours' sleep.

- Herald on Sunday

Jack Tame is on Newstalk ZB Saturdays, 9am-noon

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