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Donald 'The Closer' Trump didn't know how to close the deal

For all of this boasts about his skills as a deal-maker, Donald Trump is proving himself to be a hapless amateur, unprepared for the tasks at hand.
Image: President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office
President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order establishing regulatory reform officers and task forces in US agencies in Washington, DC on February 24, 2017.

You don't walk into a negotiation and tell your counterparty that you're desperate to make a deal fast and on any terms. But Trump did just that, which is why Freedom Caucus members knew the White House was bluffing when it claimed the bill was closed and wouldn't be amended further.Trump invited the Freedom Caucus to squeeze him dry. Weak! Bad!

To understand the costs of having a clueless, amateur president, look no further than today's developments.It's never been altogether clear that Trump knows what a "deal" is, in a literal sense. He's accustomed to private-sector agreements in which he leverages his celebrity status to make money, but can anyone think of a situation -- from any point in his entire career -- in which Donald J. Trump has set a goal, delved into complex details, and persuaded a variety of groups to work cooperatively along mutually agreed upon terms?Of course not; that's not his style at all. Voters who assumed that Trump's wealth and boardroom experience would translate well into the Oval Office made a terrible mistake. As Ezra Klein noted, the president has developed a very different kind of skill set that's not all applicable.

The answer can be found in Trump Steaks. And Trump University. And Trump Vodka. And Trump Suits. And Trump's fragrance line, his board game, his ghostwritten books, his energy drink, his eyeglasses, and his chocolate bars.Yes, these are all real Trump products. And they expose the reality of Trump's dealmaking. Trump is not a guy who makes particularly good deals so much as a guy who makes a lot of deals — many of which lash his name and reputation to garbage products.Trump, a lifelong teetotaler, didn't scour the globe to find the very best vodka. No — someone offered him an opportunity to make a quick buck by putting his name on a product he wouldn't ever touch and he took it. Trump University was a far darker scam. Trump Steaks were, and are, a joke.This is Trump's pattern: He licenses his brand and lets others worry about the details of the products. Trump's partners often end up going out of business and his customers often end up disappointed, but Trump makes some money, and he gets his name out there, and it's all good.

This model has made Trump very wealthy, but it won't make him a successful president. On the contrary, he's already failing miserably, proving himself to be a hapless amateur, unprepared for the tasks at hand.