President Trump’s supporters elected him, in part, because they saw him as a wily tycoon and deft dealmaker who could shake up Washington and bring decades of business know-how to the Oval Office.
He was always ready to tap into those beliefs. “We need a PRESIDENT with strength, stamina, heart and incredible deal making skill if our country is ever going to be able to prosper again!” he tweeted a few months after launching his presidential bid in 2015.
Trump, in reality, was never a peerless or even a particularly skillful dealmaker, and many of the most significant business transactions he engineered imploded. Instead, he made his way in the world as an indefatigable self-promoter, a marketing confection and a human billboard who frequently licensed his name to buildings and products paid for by others.
In Trump’s professional life, his inept dealmaking often came home to roost in unmanageable debts and serial bankruptcies. In his more recent political and presidential life it has revealed itself through bungled, hapless efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act; forge a nuclear agreement with North Korea; wage trade wars with China, Mexico and Canada; retain control of the House of Representatives; turn military and diplomatic strategy on its head; lay siege to sensible immigration policy; and, now, force a government shutdown to secure funding for a prized project — a wall along the U.S.’s southern border. [Continue reading…]