Given that how supposedly masterful the man is at negotiating deals, how…artful…he is supposed to be at it, this is precisely the right frame through which to view not just the speech but also the shutdown.
The measure of a politician’s commitment to a policy isn’t how often he asks for it but how much he’s willing to trade away to get it. By that measure, President Trump has never seemed committed to the border wall.
This is true so far as it goes, but it honestly doesn’t go far enough. Because let’s be real: when has Trump ever seemed committed to anything other than his own enrichment? When has he ever demonstrated a commitment to something larger than himself in anything more than a bunch of words?
The man didn’t really didn’t want to be president. He doesn’t care about policy in the slightest. He ran for president to promote his brand, only then he won, and now he’s stuck. And so are we.