The political world is in a state of shock this morning as the implications of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory last night sinks in. Hillary Clinton gracefully conceded the election at about 2 AM on Election Night when she called Donald Trump and congratulated him on his win and made her formal concession speech this morning.
Pundits will no doubt spend months dissecting the election and engage in endless discussions of who what and why. As you read those comments, keep in mind that the entire political class got it mostly wrong. There are lessons from last night that need to be learned by the Democrat Party, but those lessons are not going to come from the talking heads that will be filling the airwaves in the weeks ahead.
For now, the hope is that President Trump will not be as wild and undisciplined as was candidate Donald Trump. Mr. Trump’s book The Art of the Deal gives some reason for optimism. Trump’s style of governing is likely not to be far removed from his business style. In Trump’s mind, everything is negotiable, and the ground rules for making a deal is to find a compromise that makes sense for everyone. That doesn’t mean that Trump won’t build a wall on the Mexican border, but it does mean that the wall won’t be as big a barrier as some have feared.
The reality is that last night’s defeat could mark the end of Hillary Clinton’s long and distinguished public career. Defeated presidential candidates don’t often get a second chance. The last time a defeated candidate ran was in 1968 when Richard Nixon, who was defeated by John F. Kennedy in 1960, won the nomination and the presidency. But, as Donald Trump has proved in 2016 nothing can be safely assumed in American politics.
Hillary concession speech Wednesday morning was gracious and positive. She pledged her support to President-elect Trump and thanked President Obama and the First Lady for their support and work on behalf of the nation. She encouraged her supporters to keep fighting for the things they believe in and noted America’s long and cherished tradition of a peaceful transition of power.