Polls have shown Donald Trump closing in on Hillary Clinton’s lead over the past few days. Conventional wisdom attributes his surge to some combination of ComeyGate and wayward Republicans who are “coming home.”
Could be! But the New York Times points out another reason Trump’s odds have improved: He has stopped writing his own tweets.
In a fantastic profile of the Trump campaign’s final days, the Times says Trump’s staff has convinced him to let them manage his Twitter account, and not to send out his own messages without edits.
The idea is to prevent Trump from setting himself aflame by, say, picking fights with a former beauty pageant winner, or the parents of an American war hero.
“Aides to Mr. Trump have finally wrested away the Twitter account that he used to colorfully — and often counterproductively — savage his rivals,” the Times reports.
This makes Trump’s Twitter boring, which is what Trump’s campaign wants at this point.
For instance, while members of the Trump camp, including one of his sons, are pushing false reports of an “assassination attempt” at a Trump rally last night, Trump’s own feed doesn’t address the incident directly.
And the Tweet that does reference it is quite reserved. Very un-Trumpian.
Thank you Reno, Nevada.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2016
NOTHING will stop us in our quest to MAKE AMERICA SAFE AND GREAT AGAIN! #AmericaFirsthttps://t.co/N8EFAQDhnt pic.twitter.com/OoM3hsDWS1
One of the Times reporters who put the story together — my hunch is it’s the great Maggie Haberman — also convinced Trump to let them watch him on his campaign plane, so they could see the Twitter edits in person.
“On Thursday, as his plane idled on the tarmac in Miami, Mr. Trump spotted Air Force One outside his window. As he glowered at the larger plane, he told Ms. Hicks, his spokeswoman, to jot down a proposed tweet about President Obama, who was campaigning nearby for Mrs. Clinton.
“Why is he campaigning instead of creating jobs and fixing Obamacare?” Mr. Trump said. “Get back to work.” After some light editing — Ms. Hicks added ‘for the American people’ at the end — she published it.”
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.