Monday, May 21, 2018


The summit hasn't happened yet, and it may not, but Donald Trump's administration is already patting him on the back for it (and being awfully nice to Kim Jong Un as well):
The White House Communications Agency on Monday released a commemorative “trip coin” to mark the upcoming summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

One side of the coin features Air Force One taking off over the White House, while the flip side depicts silhouettes of Trump and Kim. The coin refers to Kim as “supreme leader,” and denotes the occasion as “peace talks.”

What's done with these coins?
The White House has a long history of minting commemorative coins, including the president’s newly redesigned coin, which are given out to visiting dignitaries and others.
And, clearly, photos of them are released to the media, which informs the public about them, to the greater glory of the endlessly glory-seeking president. Trump really has an addict's craving for glory, doesn't he?

Jonathan Chait makes an obvious point:

Right -- it's clear that Trump wants this summit desperately, whereas Kim can probably take it or leave it. Kim wanted to be accepted as the equal of major world leaders, and Trump agreed to elevate his status, so Kim has already won. Kim can win again if he blows Trump off, thus demonstrating how easy it is for him to play Trump. Bu

But Trump doesn't care -- his ego needs this summit and he's fine with weakening America's bargaining position if that's what it takes to get it. Although his desperation for any deal makes it extremely unlikely that he'll get a good one, all he has to do is say he got a good one and his fan base will agree, and will accept his insistence that a great deal came about because he was a tough guy. (That's basically what he's saying about trade negotiations with China, despite the evidence that he's getting rolled.) So he gets praise at multiple points, regardless of what happens to U.S. policy. (Probably, as in the case of China, it won't change much.) There's no Art of the Deal, but there is an art of satisfying Trump's glory cravings on an ongoing basis.

Final thought: I guarantee that there are "Nobel Prize Winner Donald J. Trump" coins already in the works, assuming they haven't already been pressed.

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