What We’re Following
The art of the no-deal: In a much-hyped meeting with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, in Vietnam, President Donald Trump did something he’s rarely done since taking office—he walked away instead of folding and accepting a lesser deal. On Thursday, the second confab between the two heads of state ended in a failure, with no agreement on denuclearization and without a declaration, at long last, of an end to the Korean War. It was a stunning setback to Trump’s I-alone-can-do-this approach to North Korean diplomacy. The surprising act of resolve, however, prevented Trump from flinching and accepting a bad deal for the U.S. The lone winner of the spectacle was Vietnam; the country has sparingly played host to major international meetings, and doing so could help bolster its ploy to become a serious player on the international stage.
What’s the Democratic Party’s best path forward to try to unseat Trump in 2020? The party is already grappling with a crowded 2020 field, and to cobble together the necessary electoral votes, it has its eyes set on two key regions: the Rust Belt and the Sun Belt. But candidates who excel in one region could lag in the other, and both paths look to be littered with traps and pitfalls. To recapture lost ground with white voters in midwestern states that flipped for Trump in 2016, established politicians such as Joe Biden or Amy Klobuchar could have the strongest case. But capturing the red-trending-purple states such as Arizona and Texas could hinge on another breed of politician—younger figures like Julián Castro or Beto O’Rourke with a track record of galvanizing nonwhite voters.