Should we pay attention to the infantile toxic garbage that Donald Trump posts on Twitter? Maybe, maybe not. On the one hand, these tweets are sometimes meant as a strategic distraction from the scandalous news stories surfacing about Trump that day. On the other hand, his tweets often offer insight into what’s going on in his orbit, which can help us to figure out how to resist and defeat him. In that vein, there’s something off about Trump’s latest tweets.
For all his erraticism, Trump has long had a consistent habit of beginning his morning Twitter rants and meltdowns at roughly 7:30am eastern time. Maybe it would start twenty minutes earlier or later, but the timing of his morning barrages was fairly predictable. That’s all gone out the window of late. For instance, on Friday his first tweet was posted at 8:39am. On Saturday his first tweet was at 9:02am. Today his first tweet was at 1:21pm. If you go a bit further back, you’ll see more of the time slippage pattern. Why does this matter?
When inconsistent people start doing things differently, it tends to mean nothing. But Trump long had a consistent habit of starting his daily Twitter binges around sunrise, and now that’s strangely out the window. Is he no longer waking up nearly as early? For as lazy as this guy is, he’s always been an early riser. Is he still waking up just as early, but taking far longer to get around to tweeting? There’s also another possibility: this isn’t him anymore.
Donald Trump’s recently tweets increasingly read like things he wouldn’t say or write. We’re not talking about the transactional tweets announcing speeches and such. We’re saying that Trump’s deeply personal rants don’t even sound like him. You wouldn’t expect him to use a phrase like “doesn’t want to go there.” Suddenly he’s tweeting about “Pelosi and Schumer” instead of his usual “Chuck and Nancy” verbiage. Are his Twitter rants starting later in the day because they’re being written by someone else who wakes up later? In any case, something is off here. It’s subtle but it definitely denotes a shift of some kind.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report