One of the most famous newspaper pictures I remember seeing was that of Harry Truman holding up a paper with the headline, “Dewey Wins”. Up until this year, that was considered the most stupendous upset in presidential election history. Now it has been eclipsed by the unlikely and overwhelming win by Donald Trump over the supposed invincible Hillary Clinton.
Despite their disparate sizes, it was like a David and Goliath encounter with Trump being cast in the role of David. Despite the monstrous array of backing that Hillary had managed to corral, it was Trump’s connection to the average voter that proved to be the winning difference. Able to attract a crowd in the tens of thousands with a one-day-before announcement, Trump proved that indeed, there was a “movement” among the electorate.
Up until the final fortnight of the campaign, it was assumed that Hillary would win in some sort of landslide. When she was ahead 3 to 1 in the projected Electoral College vote count, Democrats were extremely satisfied with the traditional election process. When she lost the Electoral College by a wide margin, it prompted most Democrats to rail against the system. In fact, Senator Boxer of California is authoring a bill to abolish the Electoral College system.
The person most stunned by Trump’s victory seems to be President Barack Hussein Obama. When he campaigned vigorously for Hillary in the final days, it wasn’t so much about the first female presidential candidate as it was about his legacy. In fact, he said that if the populace did not vote for Hillary, he would consider it a personal insult to him. Since he became President, Obama has enjoyed life in a cozy cocoon of self-aggrandizement. His haughty demeanor on most occasions gave most people the impression that he was above the plebian electorate. He lived in a world of delusion that prompted many critics to say he marched to the beat of a different drummer than the rest of us.
As a veteran of many political campaigns myself, I was advised early on that the television camera seldom lies. It has the ability to quickly pick up changes in facial expression, body language and other important characteristics. In Obama’s case, it revealed him to be a man of many faces. He was supercilious when lecturing the great unwashed, down home man of the people when addressing his fellow African Americans and cheerleader in chief when extolling the virtues of Socialism.
In Hillary’s case, the camera showed her as robotic and stilted with a complete lack of warmth or sincerity.
For Trump, who was a veteran TV performer, it showed a man of vigor and sincerity, who had mastery of the medium.
In most cases, the President-elect enjoys a brief honeymoon with the Press. In Trump’s case, that would seem to be not true. Example is that he is being roundly criticized for taking time to name members of his Cabinet. In fact, he is weeks ahead of Obama’s 2008 pace when it took Barack three weeks to make his first appointment. It has taken Trump only eight days to make his first.
Pundits, poll-takers and most members of the Liberal Press are still shaking their heads in disbelief over the election. Protesters, primarily those of the younger generation, have taken to the streets and in many cases caused destruction, interference and are crying for safe spaces in which to heal their wounded feelings.