Donald John Trump bragged about many of his so-called superlative traits while campaigning for the presidency.
One of those traits was that he is a first-class, top-tier negotiator. I mean, he said that’s how he built his real estate business into a multibillion-dollar empire.
Didn’t he say it? Umm, Yep. He sure did.
So, now we’re going to witness whether those alleged negotiating skills translate into statecraft.
Trump has accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The meeting will occur no later than May. The place is to be determined. In fact, so are many of the preconditions that usually accompany meetings of this magnitude.
Trump would be the first U.S. president to meet with any of the North Korean leaders since the end of the Korean War that, technically, hasn’t actually ended. The sides only signed an armistice; there’s no peace treaty.
So, Kim Jong Un has built a small — but still dangerous — cache of nukes that he has threatened to use against the United States, South Korea, Japan and anyone else.
Trump accepted the summit invitation, but reportedly has prepared not one lick for it. Lower-level prep hasn’t happened. There have been no high-level briefings by deputy secretaries of state or defense with their North Korean counterparts.
What gives? I am presuming that Trump — who famously declared that “I, alone” can do everything — is going to take the lead on the preparation leading up to this summit.
And will we get to witness arguably the sternest test yet on whether the president is the negotiator he has boasted of being. His track record here at home — the failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, providing the best example — isn’t so hot.
Maybe he’s gotten better at it, although the evidence doesn’t suggest that statecraft comes easily to this utter novice at politics and governing.
We can hope. Can’t we?