Donald Trump campaigned not so much in poetry as in Klaxons. Capitalised exhortations, wild claims, bold policy announcements and borderline libel were the tools of the trade. Counterfactual sometimes and countering traditional politics always, his style was many things, but mostly effective.
But some politicians find opposition easier – tilting at the incumbents requires criticisms and barbs, not carefully constructed counter-proposals. That comes with government and those are the new rules that Trump has to contend with – the rules of incumbency and actual government.
It was always going to take time to adjust, and it's noticeable that when things have become really messy, Trump has hit his old campaign trails again, leaving Washington and even Mar-a-Lago, and heading to the large crowds, pock-marked with the red Make America Great Again baseball caps that act as a balm to his soul.
Trump's admission that "healthcare can be so complicated" was the wail of a man turning over the exam paper and realising he'd revised the wrong topics. It's a steep learning curve from here.
While he won, partly, on the back of his reputation as a deal-maker and a man who could run gazillion-dollar enterprises, there are plenty of reports of him finding the federal bureaucracy frustrating and he has been enraged by, for starters, the Congressional delays over cabinet appointments and "so-called" judges challenging his travel ban on travellers from some Muslim countries.
So this week's blocking and eventual abandonment of his attempt to repeal Obamacare would have had the White House walls shaking with presidential fury and a search for scapegoats. But he may want to rein in the anger and recriminations. It might not be as bad as he feared.
The social media analysis company Impact Social looked (from Trump's perspective) at 900,000 social media posts on open platforms and open news sites, removing the chunterings of the media, politicos and re-tweets.
On the face of it, it doesn't look great: 42% of posts are negative about Trump and only 26% are positive. But repealing Obamacare was a key tenet of Trump's campaign, one repeated time and time again. And it collapsed at the first hurdle – a lame horse swiftly taken out and shot. It ought, by rights, to damage Trump's reputation irrevocably. Yet 34% of posts were neutral about it. In those circumstances, that 26% positivity is actually very respectable.
Within those positive posts, Impact Social found much venting of anger around Obamacare with 25% vowing to continue the fight for full repeal and 27% refusing to concede the fight had yet been lost in the first place. A further 30% are simply content to wait for Obamacare to 'explode' anyway.
What's pertinent about the negativity is how divided it is – a good sign for Trump. He's not the lightning rod for the fallout over the failure. Within those negative posts, there is a 28% level of support for Obamacare in the first place and 16% are upset it's still on the statute books. But only 13% directly blame Trump. For the man who promised a lot, a man who proclaims himself a deal-maker, that's getting away with it. A further 16% of posts are just anti-Trump, but compared to recent data, that's pretty good too. He's seen far worse than that.
It's Paul Ryan, speaker of the House of Representatives, who might be more alarmed. Six percent blame him directly for the failure to make a deal with the rebel Republicans, who effectively scuppered the legislation, while a further 8% blame him for his defeatist attitude. To get the blame for the failure of someone else's policies might irritate him somewhat.
Despite the fact that a lack of Republican support cost Trump the reform, only 5% of the negative posts actually blamed the Republican party, while 7% nailed this as 'political reality' – of the kind that has paralysed Presidential government regularly since the 1950s, and rendered Obama a semi-lame president during the last years of his administration.
In terms of the learning curve of his administration, Trump has rather fluked this test and got away with it. He failed to deliver, but has got away with the country simply shaking its head sadly.
His task now is to learn how to move on from simply exceeding low expectations and to govern not in the capital letters of his campaign style, but in the full sentences (and footnotes) that drive progress in Washington; to deliver less of the bombast from the lectern and make more deals in the backroom.
In short, to re-learn the Art of the Deal. if he can do that, and make these figures simply the early fumblings of an infant presidency, then respectability might yet await.