The gloomy mood has extended to his signature rallies, which Trump used to find fun. He would bound onto rally stages bursting with energy and a sense of excitement that intensified as the crowds chanted his name and cheered his every word. He would regularly schedule press conferences, call into news shows and chat with reporters, eager to spar with them. He would say politically incorrect things and then watch his polling numbers soar. He used to be the winner.
After his poor debate performance Wednesday night, Trump flew to Ohio for a Thursday rally. He abruptly walked out of two local television interviews before taking the stage in front of a smaller-than-usual crowd. After it was over, he was back at the Columbus airport, slowly climbing the steps to his personal jet. He was alone, holding a black umbrella as a light rain fell. There was a heaviness to his ascent.
Whether or not he decides to take the country down with him remains to be seen.