"What are his other commercial strengths? Nerve; tenacity; patience; an unembarrassable pushiness (indulgently known as chutzpah); a shrewd aversion to staking his own money; the aforementioned readiness, at a pinch, to play the villain; the ability to be "a screamer when I want to be" (but not when he senses that "screaming would only scare them off"); and the determination to "fight when I feel I'm being screwed." Above all, perhaps, his antennae are very sensitive to weakness. Looking to buy an old hotel in Midtown, Trump rejects the Biltmore, the Barclay, and the Roosevelt as being "at least moderately successful," and goes instead for the "only one in real trouble," the Commodore, which he can pitch as "a loser hotel in a decaying neighborhood" and so flatten the price. Similarly, his long and apparently hopeless campaign to get Bonwit Teller, store and building, suddenly takes fire when he learns that its parent company has started "to experience very serious financial problems." And he gets Bonwit Teller. Perhaps that's the defining asset: a crocodilian nose for inert and preferably moribund prey.
"Trump can sense when an entity is no longer strong enough or lithe enough to evade predation. He did it with that white elephant, the Grand Old Party, whose salaried employers never saw him coming, even when he was there, and whose ruins he now bestrides. The question is, Can he do it with American democracy?"
-Martin Amis reviewing The Art Of The Deal