Is the Clinton campaign worried about this new, improved Donald Trump we've been seeing lately? You be the judge.

Hillary Clinton's campaign manager is now suggesting in television interviews that Trump is the Manchurian candidate:

"The hand of the Kremlin has been at work in this campaign for some time," Mook continued. "It's clear that they are supporting Donald Trump, but we now need Donald Trump to explain to us the extent to which the hand of the Kremlin is at the core of his own campaign."
Mook claimed there are "real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin in this race."

I don't think there's any need at this point to explain or offer additional evidence that Trump is a flawed candidate. He utterly lacks control of his own impulses, knows practically nothing about any important issue and — here's what differentiates him from most other politicians — is incapable of hiding either problem.

And yes, I find his Putin fanboy-ism to be creepy. The simpler explanation for it is this weird admiration he keeps showing for various leaders' displays of strength — the same sort of thing that led him to express qualified admiration for the Tiananmen Square massacre and Hugo Chavez, among others. I'm also happy to listen to explanations of Trump's behavior that involve conflicts of interest based on his need for shady Russian business financing, given his history of bankruptcies.

But the idea that he's some kind of sleeper agent for Putin, or that there's a direct link of some kind? Come on.

Are Clinton's people, way ahead in the polls, suddenly worried enough about Trump that they'd start slinging this kind of mud? If Democrats had nominated someone with such a difficult relationship with the truth, I suspect they would cruise to victory without having to say anything negative about Trump.

This verges on the "Hillary Clinton is in failing health" conspiracy theories — or even the "maybe Barack Obama wasn't born in Hawaii" rumor, which Clinton supporters started and disseminated in 2008.

If Trump can just keep his head on straight for 48 hours, I'm sure this will backfire on Clinton. He could come out of this looking relatively good.

Oops, too late:

Oh well. Nobody's perfect, right?