Ten days that shook the presidency
What a difference a week can make.
Saturday, Sept. 26, was among the best days of the Trump presidency, or so some of us thought watching the president introduce in the Rose Garden his sterling candidate for Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court.
The academic and professional credentials of Amy Coney Barrett, 48, a U.S. appeals court judge, were superb. Moreover, she was a devout Catholic and mother of seven, two of whom were adoptees from Haiti.
From every standpoint, a 10-strike for Donald Trump.
Ahead was the Tuesday debate, the first of three with Joe Biden, and the long-awaited opportunity to expose Sleepy Joe's visible loss of mental and verbal acuity in the four years since he was vice president.
Sunday, however, The New York Times detonated a bomb directly beneath the Trump campaign. Declaring that it had Trump's tax returns, the Times story blared:
"Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750. He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years -- largely because he reported losing much more money than he made."
Far from being a billionaire, the Times said, Trump was mired in debt with hundreds off millions of dollars in loans coming due in 2021.
Suddenly, Trump was on the defensive. And in the Cleveland debate, he began a series of accusations and insults that lasted 90 minutes. The debate was widely declared the worst in U.S. presidential history.
Moderator Chris Wallace and the media agreed that the descent into chaos was caused by the endless interruptions of Trump.