Whatever your expectations are for Trump's second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, you can probably set them lower because the White House certainly has.
Responding to various reports and opinions that their second meeting will be a waste of time at best, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said just sitting down is a "great success."
“The President’s in no hurry, particularly as long as things continue to move forward in a positive manner and as long as the conversations continue to go well,” Sanders told the hosts of “Fox and Friends” Friday. “He has had great success here in the fact they were able to even sit down at the table.”
If success is defined at just sitting down to talk, even if those talks lead to nothing, then Kim Jong-un has already won. He already has what he wants: the legitimacy of a global platform without sacrificing anything for it.
Sanders also said the nebulous "media" is attacking Trump because he's accomplished so much by sitting down at a table.
“I think that the only one setting high expectations is probably the media because they’re looking for reasons to attack this president,” Sanders told Fox News on Friday. “They hate the idea that he’s done so well on something his predecessors couldn’t do anything on.”
I said going to say Trump hasn't done anything, but that wouldn't be accurate.
Trump has done much for Kim Jong-un. Trump's frequent praise and "love" for Kim Jong-un has improved his international standing and afforded him more opportunities to travel abroad and smile for the cameras than his predecessors enjoyed. And he hasn't had to give up anything substantive for it.
Trump's boisterous and false claims that North Korea has already begun the process of disarming has allowed Russia and China to slowly ease sanctions and even given Russia a political opportunity to offer nuclear power to the North.
Every time I think about this I recall the Republican vilification of President Obama for negotiating a substantive and peaceful nuclear deal with Iran only to see Trump walk away from that deal and give a political hand-job to Kim Jong-un; a dictator of a rogue state that actually has nuclear weapons.