Earlier this week, while trying to whip up votes for the American Health Care Act, President Trump apparently took on the nickname “The Closer,” in reference to his preternatural talent for closing deals, according to The New York Times.
Mr. Trump, who has promoted his negotiating skills and invited the label “the closer” as the vote approached, was receiving a painful reality check about the difficulty of governing, even with his own party in power on Capitol Hill.
That’s lame, dude. You don’t give yourself a nickname. Your friends give you one, and you grudgingly accept it.
If the nickname is badass, you never refer to yourself with it, because that’s some try-hard bullshit. And if the nickname is embarrassing, you never mention how much it bothers you, because that will only make it stick. NFL running back Doug Martin hated his nickname, “Muscle Hamster,” and tried to get people to call him the “Dougernaut” instead, only to be relentlessly trolled for it. As Martin’s old college teammate Jarrell Root says, “I don’t think you can ever take back something like that. The damage is already done.”
Either way, nicknames must be given, not self-appointed. Take it from a guy who has had nearly a dozen nicknames in his 29 years on Earth, including “Baby John,” “John John,” “Johnny,” “Johnny Boy,” “Mac,” “Big Mac,” “J-Mac,” “J-MacDiesel,” “McD,” “Mickie D” and a fraternity nickname so embarrassing and lasting that I refuse to mention it here. All of these were imposed on me by friends and/or teammates, and I endured them all, even though most of them were obvious references to my chubbiness growing up, because that’s just part of the male homosocial bonding ritual.
Trump calling himself “The Closer” is akin to uberdork George Costanza trying to earn himself the nickname “T-Bone,” only to have Neil Watkins from accounting steal his desired moniker:
Shaquille O’Neal famously gave himself nicknames such as “The Big Aristotle,” “Shaq Fu,” “Superman” and “The Big Shaqtus” during press conferences, but we all laughed because we knew it was in jest and that Shaq was his real nickname (and also he’s 7-foot-1 and 300-something pounds, and no one fucks with a man that size).
George W. Bush was famous for nicknames as president, but that was for giving them out, not adopting ones for himself. They include “Turd Blossom” (for senior adviser Karl Rove), “Cobra” (for Times columnist Maureen Dowd), “Landslide” (Tony Blair) and “Big Time” (Dick Cheney).
The only thing dorkier than giving yourself a nickname, though, is giving yourself a cool nickname that doesn’t even fit. House Republicans pulled their health care bill on Friday afternoon after Trump failed to get enough support for it.
So much for “The Closer”!