A year ago, President Donald Trump was spending a holiday weekend in the South Florida sun, making morning excursions to his golf course and passing warm evenings on the patio of his estate as the sound of a piano wafted in the breeze.
There’s no warmth now.
The President is again sequestered in a White House understaffed by a government shutdown and surrounded by patches of week-old snow. Attempts to cajole Democrats into supporting more than $5 billion in border wall funding have devolved into partisan squabbles with little bearing on the matter at hand. The friendliest envoy at the White House this week seemed to be an ex-North Korean spy chief, who arrived bearing another upbeat letter from Pyongyang.
That Trump has found a more affable pen pal in Kim Jong Un than in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks both to his determination in developing “chemistry” with global strongmen and the dire state of Washington’s political discourse. Even Trump’s allies in Congress have deemed the broken state of affairs “sophomoric” and “childish.”
Kim’s letter, delivered midday, was a more welcome piece of mail than Pelosi’s missive earlier in the week urging the President to delay his annual State of the Union address or deliver it in writing instead. In retaliation, the President told Pelosi he was denying her a military plane for a trip to Afghanistan so she could remain in the capital to negotiate. He said she could travel commercially instead.