I have always liked Cyril Connolly’s memoir, not because it is an especially edifying book, but because its title, Enemies of Promise, is so wonderfully suggestive. Promise always has its enemies. Now that it appears all but certain that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States, it is worth asking what these were in the case of Donald Trump, many of whose supporters consider him the greatest political talent of the last decade.
The first thing to be said about this assessment is that it is true, but only in a limited sense. No American politician in my lifetime has been a more skilled campaigner than the former host of Celebrity Apprentice, with the possible exception of his immediate predecessor in office, whom he resembles in several crucial senses.