Monday :: May 22, 2017

Traveling Man


by Deacon Blues

Anyone thinking that Donald Trump would fall on his face on his first foreign trip because of his difficulties back here at home need to recalibrate their thinking. From many accounts, Trump did a good job with his speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia, hitting the right notes about responsibility without bashing the religion, and yes, he never uttered "radical Islamic extremism". Note that Fox News and the right wing echo chamber let him get away with it.

Now Trump is in Israel, telling Bibi Netanyahu's government that they need to still think about a grand deal with the Palestinians, without actually yet doing any of the hard work himself. This is the secret to Trump: he loves doing the CEO-type work like doing speeches and dinners, shaking hands, and rubbing elbows with the world's elites, and will likely do well in this capacity as long as he is in office. In short, he loves thinking the world's problems are ripe for Trump deal making, which tells you there may be a North Korea play here as well.

But Trump hates the core element of his job, which is the inside-the-Beltway deal-making that Obama also had trouble with. Trump hates being constrained by equal actors like Congress or the courts, and can't sell a legislative agenda to save his life. But unlike Obama, Trump doesn't have a team around him to make up for his personal defects in this area. He has surrounded himself with a Romper Room cadre of misfit toys chosen for their loyalty and groupthink.

Of course, this assumes things don't blow up later this week during Trump's appearance at the Vatican, the G-20, or at NATO. But for right now, Trump the road show is doing OK.

Deacon Blues :: 2:13 PM :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!