Saturday, May 26, 2018
I guess when the military mints a shiny new medallion for the event, you do get second thoughts about pulling out. After all, this is a man who loves shiny objects, and this is definitely a collectible. Twenty per cent discount today, although I wouldn't count on it arriving any time soon.
Trump's ghostwriter chalks it up to His Trumpness' morbid fear of being humiliated and shamed, but I'm guessing it is his inner circle that got cold feet, afraid Trump might pull a "Reykjavik." This was the time Reagan almost gave away the farm to strike a deal with Gorbachev, but in the end got nothing. Bolton and Pompeo and to some degree Pence worried that Trump would either go all in or botch the deal so best not to risk it. Instead, Bolton and Pence taunted Kim, who retorted as expected, leaving their Commander-in-Chief with no choice but to sign a letter to "His Excellency," backing out of the highly anticipated date. It's rather obvious from the carefully worded statement that Trump had no hand in writing it.
Given Trump's refusal to take notes and in anyway prepare for such events, it is probably a good thing. Our president is no diplomat. He isn't ready to go through the long process of negotiations anymore than Reagan was back in the 80s. This isn't something you can do all in one meeting, which is probably what Trump expected to come out of the Singapore Summit, and collect his Nobel Peace Prize in December. Hence, the Soviet-looking medallion in anticipation of the even shinier object he would get at the end of the year.
I don't think Kim is too upset over the broken date. He pretty much got what he wanted out of the last six months of awkward negotiations. His athletes competed in the Winter Olympics. He received a whole lot of international attention and got the White House to call him "Supreme Leader," and "His Excellency." The letter of rejection itself showed an incredible amount of respect from a President who had petulantly taunted him all last year and well into this year. So, in that sense Kim won.
It might take awhile for this to sink into Trump's thick skull, but he already appears to sense he lost a golden opportunity. His advisers may not have thought him up to the task, but in his heart Donald felt he could pull off the "Deal of the Century," better than any Iranian nuclear deal or reopening relations with Cuba that his predecessor negotiated in the last two years of his administration. You can almost here Marlon Brando moaning, "I could've had class. I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody."