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Trump 51: No deal

trump

If Donald Trump promotes any positive attribute of his as most central to both himself and to his affirmative conception of the presidency, it is as a deal-maker.

It is central to his identity. His first book was called “The Art of the Deal.” (An aside: Did you know there was a movie based on that book . . . sort of? The 50-minute production, released in February, starred Johnny Depp as Trump, and included such “chapters” as “The Art of Intimidating Rent Controlled Tenants,” “The Art of Defeating Totally Bogus Discrimination Lawsuits,” and “The Art of Marrying a Gorgeous Immigrant.” You can watch it on YouTube via the link.)

The truth is that there’s much more hype than reality to Trump’s deal-making acumen.

Since his early days, when he had his father to advise him or bail him out, Trump hasn’t made a lot of big, highly successful deals. There have been a string of failures and bankruptcies, and a number of cases in which he managed to get others to take the fall for him.

Newsweek in August summed up in a long article of case studies: “Lost contracts, bankruptcies, defaults, deceptions and indifference to investors—Trump’s business career is a long, long list of such troubles, according to regulatory, corporate and court records, as well as sworn testimony and government investigative reports. Call it the art of the bad deal, one created by the arrogance and recklessness of a businessman whose main talent is self-promotion.”

One specific case from the general election campaign, in which he tried to put together a campaign finance agreement with the Republican mega-funding Koch brothers, as reported July 29 in Politico:

“Top Donald Trump donors tried to set up a meeting between the GOP presidential nominee and Charles Koch in Colorado Springs on Friday, but Koch aides rejected the entreaties, according to two Republicans with knowledge of the outreach. Koch and his brother David Koch, who helm an influential network of advocacy groups and major conservative donors, have been sharply critical of Trump’s rhetoric and policy stances and have indicated they do not intend to support his campaign. Trump in turn has blasted the Kochs and other major conservative donors as puppeteers to whom his GOP primary rivals were beholden, while he touted the independence from Big Money he said he achieved by largely self-financing his campaign.”

Meet the Republican who can’t even get campaign money out of the Kochs. Now that’s some kind of an artistic deal. – rs

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