As one Washington, D.C. bureaucrat who has worked closely with two U.S. cabinet secretaries and the head of a regulatory agency told me, “[i]n anecdotal support of this very correct evaluation . . . the amount of preparation, and scripting, and artificiality that goes into a bilateral meeting with the foreign counterpart of a minor cabinet secretary is embarrassing and absurd.”
An average, celebrated elite American political leader’s meeting with another world leader only makes sense for a few moments in a predetermined photo-op, with a phalanx of fake experts supporting them as they serve as talking heads, with all manner of technocrats carrying them along a long and complicated process before and after the meeting, supported by white papers and myriad bureaucratic procedures meant to deflect all risk and, of course, and even more importantly, accountability.
President Trump, on the other hand, simply needs to be secured firmly in the role and then pointed in the right direction. So long as his self-interest is tied to peace, he seems exponentially better, even granting all manner of bullish and hardened personality flaws.