The salesman-in-chief goes all-in on health care

Say this for 45: If there’s one thing he relishes, it’s making life uncomfortable for anyone who thwarts his will.

This is a crucial skill for a president. Brains, heart, vision—these qualities are all well and good. But if a leader is a lousy salesman, he’s going to have a tough time getting anything done. And even when he does make progress, unless he can convince the electorate of the rightness of that progress, he’ll suffer massive—potentially fatal—blowback.

Just ask Trump’s predecessor. Barack Obama had many fine gifts, but even he acknowledged that he kinda stunk at hawking his agenda, to either the public or the Congress. His bone-deep aversion to schmoozing—with political friends and enemies alike—became a topic of endless criticism. Journalistic eminence Bob Woodward rarely missed an opportunity to smack Obama for not inviting Republican leaders over for a beer or a smoke or a fun-filled movie night.

Unlike, say, Bill Clinton, Obama radiated distaste for the dirty, messy nature of politics. Oh, sure, now and again he would try to whip up public support for a plan—or invite a handful of lawmakers over to watch the Super Bowl. But overwhelmingly he strove to stay above the fray and wasted little to no effort on cultivating relationships with members of Congress.