November 7th, 2017

Tales of Democratic Election Night woe

Here are some reminiscences by political operatives and media people about Election Night 2016 (hat tip Ace). They vary from the delighted to the devastated. The surprise and shock was enormous for Hillary supporters, as you can imagine. Here are just a few examples of the quotes, from earlier in the evening to later:

Zara Rahim, Clinton campaign national spokeswoman: We were waiting for the coronation. I was planning my Instagram caption

Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight: When I was coming in on the train at 5 p.m., according to our model, there was one-in-three chance of a Clinton landslide, a one-in-three chance of a close Clinton win, and a one-in-three chance of a Trump win. I was mentally preparing myself for each of those outcomes.

Ashley Parker, The Washington Post, formerly of The New York Times: The RNC thought they were going to lose. The Trump campaign supporters thought they were going to lose. They were rushing to get their side out of the blame game. I spent part of my day lining up interviews for later that night or the next morning to get their version of events.

Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, Trump’s religious adviser: I called Sean Hannity and said, “I really think he’s going to win tonight.” Sean said, “Well, I’m glad you do, because the exit polls don’t look good.” I found out later that Trump was very pessimistic, too.

Steve Bannon: Jared [Kushner] and I were out on this balcony in Trump Tower. We looked at it on Jared’s iPhone. And the numbers were so bad that we regrouped inside. We look at each other and we go, “This can’t be right. It just can’t.” And Jared goes, “I got an idea, let’s call Drudge.” And Drudge says, “The corporate media—they’ve always been wrong the entire time—these numbers are wrong.”

Sen. Tim Kaine: Based on the returns from one bellwether Virginia county I know well, I realized that we would win Virginia by a significantly larger margin than President Obama four years earlier. This was a huge feeling given all the work that Anne and I have done for 30-plus years to help make Virginia more progressive. It struck me for the first time, “I will probably be vice president.” That feeling lasted about 90 minutes.

Van Jones: You got smoke coming out of every gear trying to figure out what the heck is happening out there. And you’ve got John King who had said, over and over, that there is no pathway for a Trump victory. Suddenly, that whole thing starts to come apart.

Jim Margolis: I finally called Steve Schale, who ran Florida for us in the Obama campaign. I said, “Steve, what’s going on here? Is this just a lack of information?” He said, “I think you’ve got a problem.”

Bret Baier: At 8:30 I turned to Chris Wallace, who was sitting next to us on the set, and said, “This does not look like it’s lining up.” We came back from commercial break and Chris said, “Donald Trump could be the next president of the United States.”

Ana Marie Cox: I did a couple of on-camera news hits where I was told, “What you need to do here is tell people not to panic.” Meanwhile, I was panicking.

David Remnick: Not only did I not have anything else ready, I don’t think our site had anything, or much of anything, ready in case Trump won. The mood in the offices, I would say, was frenetic.

Desus Nice, Desus & Mero: It’s one thing to find out Donald Trump is president, but another to be on TV with people watching you watch Donald Trump become president.

Joshua Green, Bloomberg Businessweek correspondent and Devil’s Bargain author: At 9:05 p.m. I sent Bannon an email and said, “Holy shit, you guys are gonna win, aren’t you?” He sent a one word reply: “Yes.”

Dave Weigel: I had told my parents, who are Clinton supporters—my dad actually knew Clinton growing up as he’s from the same town in Illinois she is. I texted him early in the night saying, “These Florida counties seem to be going the way they usually go.” But once I realized there was no way for Clinton to win, I called them saying, “I’m sorry, this is what I do for a living and I was wrong.” My dad said, “Well, I’m still holding out hope.” And I said, “Don’t bother. Process this, and figure out what you’re going to do next, because it’s not going to happen.”.

Many of you may enjoy a rush of schadenfreude when you read the quotes from Hillary supporters. For me, though, it’s a bit different. First of all, so many of my friends and loved ones were suffering greatly, and I was worried for them. Secondly, I wasn’t exactly what you’d call happy that night, myself—except for the fact that Hillary Clinton would not be president. That, I was happy about. I was also happy that Congress had passed out of Democratic hands.

Unlike many people, though, quite early in the campaign I had thought that Trump was a very serious contender. From August 2015 on I thought Trump had a chance to win it all (see this).

However, although I’d never been a never-Trumper, I thought that his chance of winning it all was a tremendous longshot, highly unlikely. Therefore I greatly feared that his nomination would led to a Hillary Clinton victory, while at the same time I also feared he might be an unstable loose cannon who if elected might govern either as a tyrant or a liberal (why I thought that was amply documented on this blog in posts during the campaign year, particularly prior to him winning the nomination). Kind of like “the food is bad, and such small portions.” I certainly did not think Trump would be reliably conservative, although I thought there was at least a chance of some conservative moves (and no chance for them if Hillary won). But I didn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.

So I’d spent almost a year before the election in a state of alarm at either prospect: a Hillary Clinton presidency was awful to contemplate and a Donald Trump presidency, although it might be better, could possibly be even worse.

I was stunned at Trump’s election, but I was happy at Hillary’s non-election. So I was way ahead of the Hillary supporters I know, who had absolutely nothing to be happy about and who were just beginning their adjustment that very evening. I had a natural advantage (happy at the Hillary non-victory) and a running start on them in terms of time (by a year).

Since then, as the Trump presidency has unfolded and we have actions of his in the political/presidential realm (more important than words, promises, threats) I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the fact that Trump has mostly governed as a conservative and has not done anything as crazy as I’d feared, although he’s still himself and still periodically demonstrates his very own unpleasant style.

But I retain a certain amount of sympathy for those who are still in shock. There’s never been a political upset like it. And there’s never been a president like Trump. He offends the opposition every moment of every day, and frightens them, too. He’s not only a coarse and crass and loose-cannonish guy (not all the time, of course, but it still happens often enough), he’s thwarting them at every turn politically, and he’s dismantling the Obama legacy as much as he can.

Let me add one more thing that surprised me and still surprises me, although it’s a fairly minor thing and no one else seems to care about it. For decades—decades—I’d been hearing how no New Yorker could ever become president again. The country just didn’t like New York. Maybe the liberals on the coasts would vote for a New Yorker, but not the great middle, not flyover country! The fact that Trump—a bona fide New Yorker (unlike Hillary Clinton, who’s a fake New Yorker), with an accent even—managed to be so strong in the very middle that was supposed to hate New Yorkers is something I continue to find fascinating. The billionaire as populist Everyman.

47 Responses to “Tales of Democratic Election Night woe”

  1. Oldflyer Says:

    No sympathy.
    Sadness that people I care for, and consider intelligent and informed, could support Hillary. But, they made their choice and I am just glad that it was a losing one.

    Actually, one of my daughters is a Berniac through and through. Love her dearly, never understood her for going on 59 years.

  2. vanderleun Says:

    What can one say except to join Ralph Kramden in saying:

  3. "Suddenly, that whole thing starts to come apart.…": Looking Back After One Year - American Digest Says:

    […] Dave Weigel: I had told my parents, who are Clinton supporters—my dad actually knew Clinton growing up as he’s from the same town in Illinois she is. I texted him early in the night saying, “These Florida counties seem to be going the way they usually go.” But once I realized there was no way for Clinton to win, I called them saying, “I’m sorry, this is what I do for a living and I was wrong.” My dad said, “Well, I’m still holding out hope.” And I said, “Don’t bother. Process this, and figure out what you’re going to do next, because it’s not going to happen.” Curated by neo-neocon » Tales of Democratic Election Night woe […]

  4. physicsguy Says:

    “The fact that Trump—a bona fide New Yorker (unlike Hillary Clinton, who’s a fake New Yorker), with an accent even—managed to be so strong in the very middle that was supposed to hate New Yorkers is something I continue to find fascinating.”

    I understand it. The great middle was looking for someone who would fight back at the liberal/left. Everyone was tired of the liberal bullies calling everyone who disagreed with them “racist!”. What better person to undertake the job than a brash, loud, don’t take no BS New Yorker. He was custom made for the part.

  5. Ben David Says:

    after 2 mass shootings and unsavory political and entertainment news – can we have a dance post please?

  6. Ralph Kinney Bennett Says:

    All through the campaign, Neo, I admired (though I at times found it annoying) the way you kept holding Trump up to the light, turning him over and over in the gaze of your intellect while always leaving a little room for the “benefit of the doubt,” no matter how he often offended your sense and sensibility. It wasn’t “There’s a pony in there somewhere” optimism, but rather the work of a disciplined mind seasoned by keen observation and a humane instinct to be fair about your fellow man. Geez, I keep telling myself not to be so… so hagiographic in commenting on your site, but, there it is.

  7. vanderleun Says:

    Bonus Brownie Points for “hagiographic.”

  8. Cornhead Says:

    I called it right in the comments. On the record. You can look it up.

    And thank God Hillary lost.

  9. arfldgrs Says:

    They bet all they had on Cincinnati Reds…
    And the chicago black sox did them in…

    kind of funny how that works out now…

  10. neo-neocon Says:


    I don’t have to look it up. I remember it very well. You were absolutely on the money. You even got the details right.

  11. parker Says:

    Count me as a serious skeptic about djt. Count me as happily surprised about the Donald as POTUS. To my flyover sensibilities he is a strange duck, but I now see that he loves America and does not back down when confronted. He is one of a kind, and faced with hrc and the clinton crime family in the Oval Office, he is a bullet dodged. I accept election results, unlike the fragile ‘liberals’. Their ongoing anguish does not trip my sympathy meter.

    My give a damn was busted when their messiah was crowned. Cry me a river.

  12. TommyJay Says:

    A very fascinating post. Truly; so pardon my being critical.

    “But I didn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.”

    This is seemly a pretty conventional line. But I find it something that can be pondered endlessly. What politicians do you trust or distrust and why? In what way do you trust or distrust them? Do you subscribe to realpolitik in some form, and do you think a modern politician survive or operate without it?

    Whether it’s Hillary or Jeb, I assume that 98% of the rhetoric is just telling people what they want to hear. With Dems everything they say is either dog-whistles or dodges. With Trump it seemed to me that he was really serious about at least 50% of what he said. BTW, I felt that way about Bernie too, and it scared the $%&! out of me. As bad as Hillary would have been, Bernie would have been like Francois Holland times 10.

    “There’s never been a political upset like it. And there’s never been a president like Trump.”

    I agree with the second sentence, but not really the first. I’m hardly a historian but I think Andrew Jackson’s election “rhymes” with the Trump election, to borrow Twain’s word.

    John Quincy Adams was part of the founding father’s family dynasty and an elitist. In spite of Jackson’s considerable experience as a general, military governor, U.S. Rep, and Senator; he was considered to be a ruffian or even barbarian. Jackson’s win was a cataclysm to the elite.

    The neo-Marxists of today talk endlessly about the elite, but back then, these people were routinely shooting each other in pistol duels over questions of their status amoung the elite.

    And talk about a loose cannon! Jackson de-chartered the Bank of the U.S. and ushered in 15+ years of what some historian economists claim was the worst depression in U.S history.

    I was hoping that Trump was going to be a little bit of a loose cannon, but my fear now is that he is following timid advisors too closely. Originally I was worried that he could swing towards enabling the Dems like Gov. Schwarzenegger, and I feel relieved now, though that conversion could still happen.

  13. arfldgrs Says:

    The fact that Trump—a bona fide New Yorker (unlike Hillary Clinton, who’s a fake New Yorker), with an accent even—managed to be so strong in the very middle that was supposed to hate New Yorkers is something I continue to find fascinating.

    because by liberal and finance and other circles he is NOT a New Yorker… he is an outer borough alien..

    i explained this before… he is new money, not old.. he is outer borough, not manhatten… he is real estate, not banking…

    ALL the points that would have you not surprised you ignore…

    The Gothamist office is nearly split—a quick raise of hands showed that out of the 9 people who participated in our scientific poll, 4 admitted to calling Manhattan “the city.” In one corner, we have John Del Signore (who hails from the Albany area) arguing, “We are ALL the city, even those of us who reside in Staten Island, but elitist real estate masterminds have succeeded in enslaving New Yorkers under the linguistic lash of Manhattan’s pseudo-significance. I, for one, refuse to submit to the soft bigotry of Manhattan exceptionalism, and have never hesitated to correct anyone who insults New York City’s other four boroughs by mislabeling that arrogant little overpriced island across from New Jersey as ‘the city.’

    like not getting IF YOU READ THE MAGYAR STRUGGLE, and you know who was Engels admiring as revolutionary for my struggle later, you might understand the split among more modern communist jews who would look to their brethren as the hidebound that the worldstorm was to take away (as the germans, austrians and hungary with the poles are the ones to do it… but that was 90 years when the struggle of the hungarian, became the struggle of the austrian. but dont expect the idiots to spoonfeed this stuff, they dont bother either).

    a lof of all this makes a lot of sense
    but not to the UNDERCLASS
    the underclass do not know how it works (Which is what i learned from the social register deb) and even more, they dont want to know, they prefer to be confused in their comfort zone.

    Representing those who deem Manhattan “the city” is Jake Dobkin (a native New Yorker, raised in Brooklyn), who says: “I disagree with John. I think we outer-borough residents call Manhattan ‘the city’ as a way of separating ourselves from its hegemony—as a way of repudiating its values of consumerism and celebrity.

    We, the everymen and women of Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, have much in common with our rural forebears, in that we think of Manhattan as a boiling cesspit of disease and despair, surely a product of Satan that we refuse to associate ourselves with.”

    and that goes back to 2012
    and i can find more

    IF youi knew this about the city, or did know but ignored it, or didnt think it salient, then you would be confused till you realized what everyone knows about NYC since before i was born!!!!!!!!

    anyone who is anyone is manhattan
    outer borughs is the realm of the dodgers, the yankees, the everyman, the taxi companies.. the laborers.. and the forgotten borugh of staten island..

    i guess you ignored the 40 year fight between Trump and the labor of outer borough and his forcing his way into the manhatten crowd, who never wanted such with them, any more than in the past (Before the 30s) they would have anything to do with an actor/actress/showgirl

    Big Deal | The New ‘Old-Money’ Upper East Side – The New York Times

    On the old-money Upper East Side of Astors, Rockefellers and Roosevelts.. and trump is NEW MONEY and they dont like new money.. i know, as i went with an old money social register debutant.

    the schism between old money and new money still exists, and the problem here is that new money thinks that earning a lot is enough… and it isnt… in fact the underclass think so too..
    but they dont know the game, and so they are like people watching a sport they dont want to know the rules of, and prefer to make it up wrongly from their perspective

    they try to buy buildings, and put their daughters in, and they think their money makes it, but it doesnt. you only have to see who marries who to know that the Hiltons would not look to marry the trumps… and it woudl take way too long to explain why… not that anyone would listen..

    When the developer Aby Rosen tried to build a Norman Foster-designed 30-story elliptical glass tower at 980 Madison Avenue, he butted heads with the author Tom Wolfe, an Upper East Sider, who attempted a “Gossip Girl”-style takedown.

    Mr. Wolfe testified at a public hearing in 2008 that: “980 Madison is in the heart of the Upper East Side historic district and it does not need this additional structure. I think it is incumbent upon the developers to ask Mr. Foster to roam through the great archives of architectural history, or architectural future, and come up with something that has more meaning with the Upper East Side.”

  14. parker Says:

    Yeah Cornhead, you were on the sweet spot about djt and his chances. As cruz partisan I was reluctant to support, although I did vote for him. If you live in Omaha, how about we meet in Des Moines for lunch?

  15. Gringo Says:

    The fact that Trump—a bona fide New Yorker (unlike Hillary Clinton, who’s a fake New Yorker), with an accent even—managed to be so strong in the very middle that was supposed to hate New Yorkers is something I continue to find fascinating.

    What those outside New York most dislike about New Yorkers is the attitude that New Yorkers are so enlightened and those not in New York are ignorant boors. My impression is that attitude is strongest in New Yorkers who were born and raised in the provinces, who want to stress that by virtue of becoming New Yorkers, they have become so much more enlightened than those sticks in the mud who stayed home. Think David Letterman, from Indiana. Think David Carr, a native son of Minneapolis.

    New York Times columnist David Carr responds to Bill Maher implying Alabama and Kansas are not the “smart states.”

    David Carr: “If it’s Kansas, Missouri, no big deal. You know, that’s the dance of the low-sloping foreheads. The middle places, right? [pause] Did I just say that aloud?”

    I am reminded of the most supercilious member of my high school class, who, though far from the brightest person in the class, devoted a fair amount of time mocking the poor fools (he thought were) beneath him. He has now lived in Manhattan for 4 decades. I suspect that New York attracts a lot like that. To his credit, he did quite well in life, so he might find justification for his supercilious attitude.

    I spent my freshman year in college at a university where about a third of the students were from New York City. I found the New Yorkers to be lively, inquisitive sorts. Though I was from the countryside- for perspective I told the New Yorkers my nearest neighbor was a quarter mile away- I never felt any condescension from them. These were native New Yorkers- I met some of their parents- not transplants from the provinces.

    The snotty New Yorker is more likely to be a transplant from the provinces rather than a native New Yorker. It is no accident that Hillary from the provinces, has much more of a snotty (“deplorable…”) attitude than does Trump, a native New Yorker.

    Of course, in New England, dislike of New York often has something to do with a certain baseball team. 🙂

  16. arfldgrs Says:

    How Old Money and New Money habits differ

    F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said: “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are very different from you and me.”

    Here’s the most amazing thing about Old Money. You don’t need to have money to be considered Old Money! You’ve probably heard people described as: “She comes from Old Money.” Old Money is often about behavior vs. actual wealth.

    ah… so you can be poor and be old money
    and you can be wealthy billoinaire like trump and never get into the door, and the underclass, have no idea cause well, why should they care to get it righit?

    here is a big difference:
    Public service— Many people from established families follow a career in government. Old Money— Sees public service as an obligation that comes with inherited wealth. Their way of giving back. New Money— Sees government services as a career opportunity, a stepping stone to consulting and business when they return to the private sector

    so they see trump as what they want you to see him
    a con man, with no class, who could never be as noble as they are…

    they see his in politics as a monkey trying to act like a barrister… no matter how hard the monkey tries, he will never be seen as a barrister.

    their mind is your mind and you dont know that
    because THEY own the means of your understanding
    and unless you work hard to get beyond it, you will see waht they want you to see and have an opinion close to what they want (and no, its not monolitic)

    no matter how much money trump makes, politics he gets into, marries his daughter too.. he will ALWAYS be on the out… the same thing for anyone who is not japanese and wants to be part of that. or the british blue books…

    old money sees new money as crass

    Charitable giving— Americans are the most charitable people in the world. Old Money— Sees supporting the arts and cultural institutions an obligation that comes with wealth. New Money— Sees naming opportunities as a path to immortality.

    Investing —“People with significant assets tend to be wary. If they still have money, it’s because they have been careful about it,” a retired portfolio manager in Martha’s Vineyard explained about Old Money attitudes. Old Money — Capital preservation while keeping up with inflation is their primary objective. They are a steward of the family’s wealth for future generations. New Money —“You must speculate to accumulate.”

    Talking about wealth — Financial news programs have turned making money into a spectator sport. Old Money —“A very well-bred man intensely dislikes the mention of money and never speaks of it (outside of business hours) if he can avoid it.” ( Emily Post, 1922) New Money — They talk about it constantly. “Remember, they love money, so pretend like you own a gold mine and you are in the club.”

    Who knows who — Who is in your circle? Old Money — Doesn’t volunteer names. Will readily admit to knowing someone if asked. New Money — Constantly name dropping. Refers to how rich they are or size of home to establish affiliation by association.

    you dont have to. my girl was in the social register. what is the social register?

    Specific to the United States, the Social Register (SR) is a directory of names and addresses of prominent American families who are claimed to be from the social elite. Inclusion in the Social Register has historically been limited to members of polite society, members of the American upper class and The Establishment, and/or those of “old money” or White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) families, within the Social Register cities. According to McNamee and Miller: “the acronym WASP …is exemplified by the Social Register, a list of prominent upper-class families first compiled in 1887. … There is great continuity across generations among the names included in these volumes.”[1] The cites are Newport, Rhode Island, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia,[2] Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C., as well as ones for “Southern Cities”.[3] In European countries, similar directories for the perceived upper class, such as Burke’s Peerage and Landed Gentry in the United Kingdom, have been published for centuries.

    and you cant force your way in..
    so if you dont know all this
    then you dont know trump

    Trump is an every man who made it
    as i said before, Trump is Rodney Dangerfield

    he plays average men who make it big and who have to attack the status quo of big money…

    they work to tie him up, keep him out, prevent his success, and so on… but, he gets around it, adn THATS what you dont get.

    Trump is more the every man who wants in to the elite club cause he made himself good enough… but he is on the out, he is not in. he is danferfield snubbing his nose on the golf course and their rules.

    he hs Ruggles of Red gap.. he fits the mold of the 50 years of movies of new money americans trying to be part of the world club

    Cars — A lot has been written on the subject of “You are what you drive.” Old Money — Cars are transportation. They aren’t meant to attract attention. Maintain something well and it will last forever. New Money — Your car is your rolling net worth statement.

    Home décor —“Your lot buys it, my lot inherits it.” (Lady Mary, Downton Abbey) Old Money — Happy with period furniture. New Money — Keeps current with trends. Works with interior designers. Invented “fashion furniture,” disposing of it every few years.

    Clothing — Quality comes first. Old Money – Owns well-made clothing, maintained over time. Designer items are often years old. New Money — Stylish, lots of designer labelled items.

    Spending habits — Surprisingly, wealthy people often come across as cheap. They like getting a good deal, but don’t talk about it. Old Money — Never talks about how much they paid. Might complain about high prices. New Money —“A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” ( Oscar Wilde)

    Travel — If they have spare time, they likely travel. Old Money — They’ve been everywhere, but maybe not recently. New Money — They’ve stayed at the most expensive hotels.

    Making friends— Everyone needs friends for something, even if it’s someone to talk about hobbies or interests. Old Money— Makes friends with people they consider interesting or subject matter experts. New Money— Determines if people are in same social class or able to help them advance socially before considering new friendships.

    Keeping friends— Do people maintain long-term friendships through periods of adversity? Old Money — Remain friends even if people they know fall on hard times or get bad publicity. New Money — Will drop people as they climb the social ladder.

    and from before his breaking the rules and entering politics to be old money

    Why does Trump act like a stereotypical nouveau riche capitalist

    ‘A poor person’s idea of a rich person’: Donald Trump’s gaudy taste

    Maybe Trump behaves like the most Nouveau Riche person in the world josh barrow

    even the brits still run the old trpes
    ‘How do you spot the difference between nouveau riche and old money?’ k

  17. neo-neocon Says:


    I am well aware that within NYC itself, Trump is definitely an outsider.

    But I was actually talking about the conventional political “wisdom” of Beltway pundits that we’ve heard for years about attitudes outside of NY, which precluded anyone from anywhere in NYC from becoming president. This conventional wisdom turned out to be incorrect.

  18. R.C. Says:

    One didn’t really need to “trust” Trump to vote for him. I didn’t.

    One didn’t need to approve of his life-history or lifestyle. I didn’t.

    One didn’t need even to be confident he wouldn’t wreck the country. I wasn’t.

    One only needed to see that…
    (a.) …his policies were likely to be at least 0.01% more conservative than Hillary’s;
    (b.) …the persons surrounding him were likely to be at least 0.01% less corrupt and evil than those surrounding Hillary;
    (c.) …the persons empowered by him were likely to be at least 0.01% less corrupt and evil than those empowered by Hillary; and,
    (d.) …if he tried to do something totalitarian, the press and other major cultural power-centers were at least 0.01% less likely to support him than they were to support Hillary if she did the same thing.

    Put it that way and it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?

    I mean, what do we want in a President? We want good policies, we want him surrounded wise advisors of good character, we want those empowered by his ascendancy to be “good folk” rather than crooks and psychos, and if he gets out-of-line, we want him effectively counter-balanced and hemmed-in by all the other centers of power.

    Trump’s policies ain’t half-bad, the persons surrounding him are better than average, the few bad apples to whom he granted power have been kicked out already, and the press, academia, the judiciary, Congress, the bureaucracy, and the entertainment industry are so thoroughly lined-up against him that his every move results in a proctological examination.

    Meanwhile, Hillary’s policies would have been vastly worse, the persons surrounding her are legendarily crooked and vile, she’d have continued her predecessor’s policy of weaponizing the Federal bureaucracy against her political enemies, and the press would have spent eight years fawningly licking her sphincter as she did it.

    I still don’t think much of Trump’s character. The best I can say is that I see some tenuous evidence that he isn’t quite as much of a vacuous amoral prick as he was in earlier decades.

    But WOW am I relieved it wasn’t Hillary. It could have been SO much worse.

  19. Zigzag Says:

    Funny, I seem to recall that I was supposedly a paid Trump Shill for pointing out that the time for Constitutional Fetishism and the likes of Cruz had passed and that the tectonic plates were once again being spun in a re-woken History’s Big Top.

    I think Neo performs a very useful function in doing all the forensics and spergy rational stuff. I for one would die of boredom doing all the fact-checking she does. There’s a necessity and a place for this. The Benedictines parked themselves behind high walls and wrote stuff down and preserved something for better days. That didn’t make them any kind of generals or insightful geo-strategists at the time.

    Anyway, made substantial money on the betting exchanges thanks to Trump. Just 24 hours before the election could get better than 4 to 1 against him winning. Sadly didn’t plough all of it into Bitcoin, so my victory dance has to be a kind of one-legged hopping about.

  20. OldTexan Says:

    How sweet that evening was last year. Two of my grown kids in their 30’s & 40’s who had voted Democrat in the past join the oldest daughter who has been mostly conservative all the time. My youngest was so happy when the race was finally called she called me and then called her brother and we spent almost an hour smiling and laughing on the phone. We knew Trump was not our first choice and maybe just making it into the top ten but he was not Hillary and that was good enough.

    Last year I had to take three months off from this blog site which I had checked daily for years because the rancor and disgust of some of those posting, over and over all of Trump’s faults as he moved forward were driving me a bit batty. Especially after he had the nomination, coming into the home stretch there was gnashing of teeth and wailing while I was thinking he is not Hillary and if we get one good Supreme Court placement out of him that would be a win and it was.

    I still don’t like the personality of Trump and the strange things he says baffle me when just saying nothing might be better but he keeps on undoing Obama crap and he is great for making interesting news even if the Bushs, père et fils don’t agree.

  21. John Guilfoyle Says:

    “Many of you may enjoy a rush of schadenfreude when you read the quotes from Hillary supporters.”

    Oh honey…it’s more than a rush. I actually enjoy watching the persistent whacko-leftist meltdown. A year on, I regularly watch the smash-up video of folks predicting Trump’s electoral demise & that jackass-ex-president dropping the mic…we will suffer his legacy for years to come.

    Trump’s victory rates #2 on my voting favourites. Reagan 1980 is still #1 & his second win is #3. Never-Trumpers & Hillary supporters can go howl at the moon for all I care.

    And in the great hagiographic atmosphere of the day: I may have to name my next dog Cornhead to honour the wise one among us who called it so well & so early. PBUH.

  22. neo-neocon Says:


    Well, sometimes I get bored with all the research, too. But what drives me is my curiosity and my desire to come as close as I can to the truth.

    I certainly didn’t predict a Trump victory. I wouldn’t have won a penny on him, alas. But I knew a Trump win was a possibility quite early in the game. What I really saw quite early was that he could win the primary and the nomination. I think I should get at least some points for this, from August 22, 2015, a post in which I describe his appeal and allude to the fact that he could definitely win the nomination and even win the whole shebang.

  23. neo-neocon Says:

    For everyone who wants to see the original Cornhead Election Eve 2016 prediction, here it is:

    I am predicting a slim DJT win. He wins NC FL IA MI OH PA WI.

    Enthusiasm makes the difference. The Republic is saved.

    He called every state correctly. And that was posted at 1:21 PM on Election Day, long long before the polls closed.

  24. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Wish I’d had Cornhead calling yesterday’s Melbourne Cup! Coulda made a packet!

  25. Bumsrush Says:

    I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone back to YouTube and watched the networks from election night. it’s still better than anything else on TV

  26. John Guilfoyle Says:

    “The billionaire as populist Everyman.”
    I don’t think so…

    Trump (the billionaire) loves the USA.
    Obama hates it.
    Hillary wants to sell it.

    Big difference.

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    John Guilfoyle:

    I see no contradiction between your statement and mine.

    Trump is seen as populist Everyman, despite being a billionaire, for many reasons. Love of America is one. If you want to see my description of this in August of 2015, see this.

  28. Zigzag Says:


    I read the link and you nailed it back then.

    For the rest, there are multiple modes for attempting to process information and prevailing moods in a quest to Get the Gestalt at any given time. Even when I strongly disagree with you, you’re part of my daily data feed. Long may you continue to call things as you see them!

  29. neo-neocon Says:


    That’s so sweet—“you’re part of my daily data feed” 🙂

    Hear, hear!

    Sometimes I go back and look at things I wrote a long time ago and I barely remember that I wrote them. I do remember watching that speech of Trump’s and perceiving why he appealed to people. His ad lib speeches were quite the tour de forces (actually, I think that’s tours de force).

  30. jimmy958 Says:

    During the primaries, I responded to one your posts that with all the Republicans running, it had come down to Trump; I was rooting for Cruz. Who would have thought this? But as the primaries continued, and then in the campaign for the general election, it became clear to me that no Republican had what it would take to win other than Trump. He seems to relish facing a challenge and to continue on until he prevails. I would think this comes from operating in the NYC real estate market. When you consider all of the forces aligned against him, a weaker person would give up. Of course, he has not accomplished all that he said he would do, but given the obstacles, at this time, he has accomplished more than what one would have thought he would.

    Ben Davis requested a dance post. Jennifer Garner recently opened an Instagram account and on Tuesdays she is posting ballet videos. You might be interested.

  31. RNB Says:

    I enjoyed reading the quotes, up to a point. After a while, the narcissism, the irrationality, the entitlement and the plain hatred expressed by so many of these Democrats just depressed me.

  32. Molly NH Says:

    DJT was/is beholding to no one ! That is huge & he secured his own victory when he told crowds in the swing states, A vote for me, what have you got to lose? Brilliant.
    He sincerely loves America and communicates that on a non verbal level that people pick up on & respond to.

  33. Richard Saunders Says:

    Parker — You certainly were a skeptic about djt — you bet me 5:1 on my $500 he wouldn’t win 100 delegates and YOU NEVER PAID OFF.

  34. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Hi Neo just to push the question…in your Aug ’15 post there was this exchange in the comments.

    Ann Says:
    August 22nd, 2015 at 4:43 pm
    If I were one of the other Republican candidates I’d be very very scared. And if I were one of the Democratic candidates I’d be scared, too.

    As simply an American, I’m scared of what Trump portends.

    neo-neocon Says:
    August 22nd, 2015 at 4:44 pm


    Ok…so in Aug ’15 you were “scared” of populist Trump. Were you equally scared of Obama before he was elected? Were you equally scared of Hillary?

    Not to poke the bear…but really “scared”?

  35. neo-neocon Says:

    John Guilfoyle:

    I wasn’t scared of Trump because he was a populist. That didn’t bother me. I was scared because I thought he was an inexperienced, narcissistic loose cannon.

    I was terrified of Hillary, and had been very very scared of Obama when he was running. Very scared indeed.

    You might conclude I’m just a fraidy cat. But I don’t recall ever having been scared in an election before those years and those candidates. There had previously been candidates I really really didn’t like, but never any that scared me.

    However, in the summer of 2008 a few months before the election of Obama, I remember saying to a Democratic friend that I’d never been so disturbed by a candidate in my life as I was by Obama. I tried to tell her about the things that troubled me—basically I thought he was a closet socialist/leftist, anti-Israel, and a liar, as well as a narcissist, who had an Alinsky background and a history of dirty tricks against opponents (what he did to Alice Palmer at the very beginning of his political career really upset me). I could not understand why anyone thought he was an honest guy or a nice guy. I was sick to my stomach for the entire week before the election and the week after; same in 2012.

    The only good thing about Obama’s election, IMHO, was that he was black. I thought there was a chance, at least a chance, that it would improve racial relations in this country, although I was also well aware that Obama used race to divide people, even during the campaign (I was horrified by that and wrote about it here, for example, as well as here).

    Come to think of it, one more presidential candidate frightened me, although not as much: John Kerry. Couldn’t stand him then, can’t stand him now.

    So my fright was caused by different things about all of them, but they all frightened me, and it was new for me to feel political fear.

  36. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Thanks Neo…I appreciate that honest clarification. I don’t think you are a “fraidy cat.” We live in a very different era of politics…and there’s plenty of which one can be wary or afraid.

    I actually was more afraid of Obama in ’08 because he was black…I knew how he would & did use that & I knew how the MSM was using it to paper over his glaring lack of fitness for the Office of President of the USA…all that you listed.

    Hillary…I would share your terror on that one. I thank God that she will never be POTUS.

    However…After 8 years of Obama…I lost all fear at the sight of Trump because of what I perceived right around Super Tuesday…maybe shortly after that…He really cared about the good of this country and I was sure he was the only one who could really beat Hillary.

    I also was amazed that after 8 years, Obama hadn’t had the race war he seemed to really want. AND we hadn’t been resoundingly attacked on our own soil by another major terrorist incident. So the state of the union must be more sound than I gave it credit for.

  37. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “here is a big difference:
    Public service— Many people from established families follow a career in government. Old Money— Sees public service as an obligation that comes with inherited wealth. Their way of giving back. New Money— Sees government services as a career opportunity, a stepping stone to consulting and business when they return to the private sector”

    I’ve only been to NYC once, on a family visit in 1962. My impression was of a physically dirty city whose inhabitants were in far too much of a hurry and who ignored each other on the crowded streets.

    My personal background provides some insight into Old Money. We had little money but came from a family that once owned a full 1/3 of Portugal when it ruled much of the world. ‘Manners’ and ‘breeding’ were considered important.

    IMO, Art is basically correct in his POV on Old Money vs New Money. The Bush family are a perfect example of Old Money and I have long thought that “noblesse oblige” is a strong family dynamic with them.

    That said they also are an example of Jefferson’s observation that;

    “Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties:
    1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes.
    2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depository of the public interests.
    In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves.”

    Whereas Trump fits Jefferson’s, “Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe”

    The GOPe serves Old Money, which is best served by maintenance of the status quo, “Capital preservation while keeping up with inflation is their primary objective.”

    It is perhaps the height of irony that Old Money fails to see that Trump is their best hope for preserving their Capital because the Left will take it all and then deal with them as Lenin did with the Romanovs.


    “the persons surrounding him are better than average, the few bad apples to whom he granted power have been kicked out already”

    You have it exactly backwards. McMaster, Mattis, Tillerson and Kelly’s sympathies lie with the GOPe and Deep State. The ‘bad apples’ who were kicked out are the ones who support Trump’s agenda, not “the Gang of Four” who currently advise Trump.

    Both groups would lead us into wars, the expunged group through a Churchillian realism and the current group through a Chamberlain like appeasement and avoidance. History has already demonstrated which is the more disastrous.

  38. Soviet of Washington Says:

    Actually, the Bushes aren’t ‘old money’ as a reading of Peter Schweizer’s book “The Bushes” would show. They are only 3 maybe 4 generations of wealth. New money.

    [For Geoffrey] Mrs. Soviet and I just returned a couple weeks ago from visiting daughter and son-in-law who are doing medical residencies in the greater NYC area. I’ve been there multiple times, but it was a first visit for Mrs. Soviet (who grew up on a farm in the midwest, but has been a left coast city girl for 40 yrs). Due to ankle issues and time constraints, we had to settle for a 2hr car tour of Manhattan and Queens as our city experience. It was a sunny weekend day and crowds were out everywhere. About 1/2 way through, Mrs. Soviet turns to daughter and son-in-law and blurts out “I don’t know how people live like this…it’s like a bunch of rats!”

  39. steve walsh Says:

    I didn’t vote for DJT, partly because I was turned off by his style and behavior, but mostly because I live in MA and my vote for POTUS just doesn’t matter. Didn’t vote for that office at all.

    Reading this article though I am again astounded by the emotional investment so many people have in these candidates. The only POTUS I ever voted for with any enthusiasm was Reagan. I was young then and thought it mattered – and to a certain extent it did, but no where near as much as these folks (especially Hillary supporters) do.

    A year on and I have to say I’m very happy that DJT won. He has done many good things – as judged by this libertarian sort of guy. I still am not a fan of his style and some of his behaviors. Can’t have one without the other I suppose.

  40. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Soviet of Washington,

    It’s not a matter of how long the family has had money. It’s a matter of how they conduct themselves, i.e. “manners and breeding” and what they believe regarding certain particulars. The Bush family fits the profile to a ‘t’.

  41. R.C. Says:

    @Geoffrey Britain:

    Re: “You have it exactly backwards. McMaster, Mattis, Tillerson and Kelly’s sympathies lie with the GOPe and Deep State. The ‘bad apples’ who were kicked out are the ones who support Trump’s agenda, not “the Gang of Four” who currently advise Trump.”

    OK. Y’know what, I found myself questioning that phrase (the one you’re contradicting, where I said, “…the few bad apples to whom he granted power have been kicked out already”) even as I wrote it. I felt it was the weakest part of my analysis, because I’m still unconvinced of either side of that internecine debate.

    So, I’ll give you that point, for the sake of argument.

    Even so, the rest of the argument stands. My point was all about drawing comparisons between the only two persons with any chance of being President when the election was done: Clinton and Trump.

    Given that, Trump is superior. I mean, for me, the jury’s still out on McMaster, Mattis, Tillerson and Kelly. But let’s presume that I adopt your view of them. Even so, aren’t those four cats still slightly superior to the kind of folk that Hillary would have installed in the same positions?

    Or, if you don’t regard them as superior, I can’t imagine that they’d be any worse.

    All-in-all, I know that Presidents make/influence policy, they empower persons, they are surrounded by persons who might influence them, and they are hemmed-in by other centers-of-power which will either play along with them or oppose them.

    My analysis was that, in each of those four areas, Trump was either just as bad as Hillary, or better than Hillary.

    I think that observation still stands. In policy, Trump is vastly superior; in nominees and appointees and hangers-on and cronies only Bernie could’ve been worse than Hillary and not by much; and the news media would have been her enabler throughout.

    Thus, in spite of all that Twitter silliness, I’m still grateful it came out as it did.

  42. Cosmo Says:

    What I haven’t read anywhere in post election analysis was the clothes both Clinton’s selected for the night of the election. Bill wore a purple tie and Hillary’s pantsuit lapels were in a similar shade of purple. The oh so subtle inference is that purple is the color of emperor’s. Could this obscure detail be the hubris that was the Clinton crime family?

  43. GRA Says:

    My brother lives in NYC. The following morning of the election he said it was the quietest morning he experienced when going to work, traveling from the UWS to Midtown. A few months later when he was back in his hometown he learned that some of his girl friends cried the night of the election, but they were’t tears of joy.

    “We were waiting for the coronation.”

    Seriously? Makes the title God Emperor Trump sound reasonable.

  44. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    I said nothing about the rest of your comment because I mostly agree with that POV. Sorry for any lack of clarity.

  45. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Trum’s problem is that he was a Democrat and thus thinks he can work with Demoncrats like Mueller.

    Big problem there.

    As for me, I was always suspicious and warned people about trusting Democrats. They don’t want to listen to me, so they’ll just have to suffer the consequences of their own pride and arrogance.

  46. R.C. Says:

    Geoffrey Britain,

    No apology needed! I thought it likely that you had responded solely to the portion you wanted to dispute. Totally fine.

  47. Ymar Sakar Says:

    But I knew a Trump win was a possibility quite early in the game.

    I was in the same boat as Neo, except I had more confidence in the power of the Alt Right. When they started backing Trum, I knew the game had changed. They may not win, but they were certainly powering up like a Saiyan or “transforming” themselves.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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