Trump was fresh and new during his 2016 campaign. Has his fame fizzled? | Donald Trump

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Instead of taking off like a rocket over the past three weeks, Donald Trump’s bid to win back the White House appears, so far at least, to be blowing up on the launchpad.

The swagger of 2016 has given way to somnolence in 2022. Opinion polls are grim. Legal setbacks are piling up. A run of dismal results in the midterm elections, culminating in another Republican loss in Georgia this week, have punctured his aura of invincibility within the party.

And Trump has performed astonishing acts of self-sabotage, from dining with antisemites to calling for the constitution to be shredded. He has eschewed a widely-anticipated spree of public rallies, instead remaining largely out of the public gaze.

For any conventional candidate, such a list would be career-ending. For Trump, who has long defied political gravity, the fallout remains uncertain. But even the most ardent propagandist would be…

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