Its easy to tell when President Trump is pissed. You can see it in his eyes, and you can read it in his tweets.
I noticed something interesting when I saw Trump answering questions after he was forced to pull his healthcare bill upon failing to secure enough votes for its passage. He did not seem angry. He was calm, and seemed as though he was eager to move on.
But why? Had he not just faced a huge embarrassment? Did the author of “The Art of The Deal” fail to close on his first big negotiation as President? That certainly is the media narrative. But Trump often plays on a completely different field than the media covering his Presidency, or his opponents trying to bring him down.
Before Trump accomplishes what he wants, he first attempts to wipe out his opposition. In the primaries, he saw Jeb Bush as his most dangerous opposition. So he went on full attack mode, and made short work of the former Florida Governor. This continued with all 15 candidates competing for the nomination.
Although Trump finds himself in the Oval Office, with a Republican controlled House and a Republican controlled Senate, he still faces opposition. It comes in the form of Republican leadership, who oppose Trumps agenda even as they feign support for it publicly.
Often times, Trump will place himself into situations where he cannot lose. The outcome is a win-win. It is very possible that Trump originally believed that the bill would pass. He knew Paul Ryan was the architect, and that if it passed- it would be hailed as a great achievement for the Trump administration. Obamacare would be repealed, and they would sort out the details later on.
But if it failed, or worse- never even had the chance to come to a vote, Trump would be setting Ryan up for failure. If there are calls for Ryan to step down as House Speaker, it is possible that Trump could see him replaced by someone who is a lot more favourable to his agenda.
They will return to Obamacare repeal and replace at a later date, and possibly get a better bill that the Freedom Caucus and others could comfortably support.
So as the media drives the narrative that Trump botched his first negotiation of his Presidency, keep in mind that he could just be making his first in a series of bold moves.