I sat watching in astonishment. The one who couldn’t bear to show up to concede was not, as expected, Donald Trump, but Hillary Clinton.
I thought the hard-core support for Trump had dwindled down to a hardy band of loyalists…
The Republican establishment couldn’t stand Trump. The Democratic establishment mocked him. The Republican nominee didn’t even really seem to have much of a campaign. He spent more on “Make America Great” hats than on polling. When I visited his campaign headquarters this summer, there were more pictures, paintings and cardboard cutouts of Trump around than Trump advisers. If you don’t count Newt Gingrich — and I don’t — only one major political historian, Allan Lichtman, had predicted that Trump would win.
But then the impossible happened. As Salena Zito had presciently written in The Atlantic: “The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”