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A Mea Culpa on Trump

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Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 12:35 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Mea culpa! Time to eat crow. I was wrong.

I called the election, and Pennsylvania, going Blue.

Granted, it was only the second time in ten years of predictions that I was off. And I did get it right on the House remaining Republican (not too hard), and Senator Pat Toomey, winning in a squeaker (a lot harder). That’s good enough for the baseball Hall of Fame.

But on the big one, I missed it. But how?

There was simply no way Trump could win the Keystone State (Blue since 1988, that even “nice” Republicans failed to capture) and run the table on the other battlegrounds. It would have been an unprecedented tightrope walk that defied belief.

Trump did everything in his power to throw the race away. From hurling insults to engaging in conspiracy theories, and from not self-funding to appearing woefully unprepared, it was impossible not to question his commitment to winning.

Despite flashes where he looked presidential, smart money was on Hillary, if only because she wasn’t Donald Trump.

All he did was shock the world, pulling off the greatest upset in history.

That, folks, is why God made elections.

And to be candid, I’m happy to have been wrong.

Do I still harbor concerns about the President-elect’s temperament and vindictiveness? Absolutely. One week of showing class does not erase a year of red flags. That said, the people made their voices heard. It has become all too easy to forget the millions finding it difficult to make ends meet. Too often, they have been neglected by both Parties, which is why we have seen unprecedented wave elections for both sides. The GOP has it all. The question is, can they capitalize?

Now that the dust has settled, here’s some interesting aspects of the election:

  • There is no mandate. The Republicans won convincingly. And yes, Trump flipped longtime Blue states. However, he lost the popular vote, and eked out victories by the slimmest of margins, often without a majority. He won Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin by a total of 108,000 votes, where just eight counties made the difference between a Trump win and substantial Clinton victory.
  • A win is a win, and the GOP should forge ahead with common sense legislation. But it must not allow the inside-the-beltway cocoon to warp its perception. The country is still divided, and Republicans must bridge that gulf, or risk significant backlash.
  • Hillary Clinton is the most repudiated politician in American history, being denied not once but twice her “inevitable” presidential coronation. She was supposed to be vaunted to the nomination in 2008, but out of nowhere came a little-known Illinois senator. Yet Hillary never stopped running. And this time it would be different. It was beyond inevitable. It wasn’t just in the bag. It was a done deal. Polls showed it. Experts proclaimed it. Even Donald Trump all but acknowledged it.Being passed over for a promotion is difficult. Losing the Super Bowl in the last second is downright painful. But seeing the most powerful job in the world slip through your fingers (twice) after having measured the curtains is beyond devastating. It is unfathomable. So Hillary gets a pass for her election night absence. Losing to a superior opponent? Painful but acceptable. Losing because of baggage that was wholly preventable? Priceless, and a wound that will never heal.
  • Would anyone other than The Donald have trounced Clinton? Not necessarily. Maybe John Kasich would have enjoyed a larger margin of victory. But quite possibly, he would not have tapped into voter anger the way Trump did, nor engendered the same support from disaffected voters, nor brought new people into the fold. Conventional wisdom says Trump wasn’t the best candidate, and that’s probably accurate. But with the status quo dumped upside down, who knows?
  • The second biggest loser is Chris Christie. He failed as a presidential candidate, was passed over for VP, and lost clout as a Trump adviser.

How different things may have been if, four years ago, Christie had remembered his William Shakespeare:

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.”

Christie, the brash, non-PC, straight-talking Republican (sound familiar?), might well have beaten an unpopular President Obama four years ago had he pulled the trigger. But he didn’t. He waited. Bridge-gate exploded, his agenda got demolished, and he became embroiled in controversy that still follows him.

Success goes to those bold enough to seize the day. Like him or not, Trump grabbed the brass ring, while Christie is left by himself, wallowing in the shallows.

President-elect Trump, God Bless and Godspeed.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.


 

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Freind
Success goes to those bold enough to seize the day. Like him or not, Trump grabbed the brass ring, while Chris Christie is left by himself, wallowing in the shallows.
bridge-gate, christie, keystone state, pa.
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2016-35-17
Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 12:35 PM
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