My friend Deroy begins his column thus: “President Trump’s extraordinary Tuesday-morning Singapore summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was an encounter that eluded every American president from Eisenhower to Obama.”
I see versions of this sentiment all over the place, and I just think it gets things exactly backward. A summit with a North Korean dictator hasn’t “eluded” American presidents from Eisenhower to Obama, American presidents have rejected the idea from Eisenhower to Obama. Such a summit has eluded the North Korean dictators for all this time, and then Donald Trump gave one to Kim Jong-un in exchange for pretty much nothing. This was a huge diplomatic concession by America not a huge diplomatic coup.