Last week, the self-proclaimed artist of deals, President Trump, betrayed his own administration and congressional allies by accepting the first debt ceiling and Hurricane Harvey aid deal put on the table by Democratic leaders over vehement opposition from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his own advisors.
Now we know why.
Did Trump make the decision because he recognized a victory for struggling American families? Of course not. Did he extrapolate a concession from his opponents or leverage that could be used later. Not in the least.
No, as Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker write for the Washington Post, the president liked Democrats’ energy:
“In that Wednesday morning Oval Office meeting, Trump was impressed with the energy and vigor of Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) relative to the more subdued Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).”
According to sources in the White House, Trump also reportedly “relished the opportunity for a bipartisan agreement and the praise he anticipated it would bring,” even calling Pelosi to talk about the “incredible” press coverage of his deal.
The truth, however, is that Trump did not strike a deal. He gave away his bargaining position and caved to everything his opponents asked for. The great irony of the supposedly great deal maker is he apparently doesn’t even know what a deal looks like.
So by all means, Mr. President, if great deals mean giving Democrats exactly what they want, keep up the good work.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com