Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Donald Trump's Mandate for Change

CNN's awesome exit polling showed that 83 percent thought Donald Trump was the candidate most likely to "bring change."

And political scientists, Larry Sabato in particular, spoke about a possible Trump victory signaling the electorate's demands for change --- and thus, 2016 was a change election.

See the Wall Street Journal for more on that, "Donald Trump Captured Desire for Change":

Win or lose, this was always going to be the campaign of Donald Trump, candidate, strategist and sole star.

He ran a campaign that was frequently unscripted, controversial and off-message. It was a style that shocked the establishment and appalled many in his own Republican party. Yet, it endeared him to millions of fiercely loyal followers, and they turned out with passion.

That’s because the billionaire businessman, with his brash talk and celebrity zeitgeist, tapped into a yearning for change among a significant swath of the American public. That change message was the most powerful force of 2016.

The Republican nominee, in an interview in the final hours before election day, said he was most gratified that his message of change resonated across the country. “Nobody understood the message but me. The elites never got it,” Mr. Trump said. “The American public did.”

His populist campaign overwhelmed his Republican foes and finally his more experienced and better-funded Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. The self-styled “outsider” who challenged the political establishment and mainstream media will take over a deeply divided country that he brought into sharp contrast in his successful bid for the White House.

“I’m going to celebrate for about an hour,” Mr. Trump said in the interview ahead of the vote. “Then I’ll get up Wednesday morning and start working so hard immediately. Saving the United States is so important.”

Even though Mr. Trump proved to be a flawed messenger who often spent long stretches on defense talking about himself, his message consistently hit his change mantra.

“Donald had the right message and the unique ability to drive that message to the average American,” said Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, an early Trump supporter. “His ups and downs came because he wasn’t the normal smooth politician, but he stayed the course to become a better candidate who looked more presidential every day.”

In winning the presidency, Mr. Trump imposes a significant makeover of the Republican party into more of a populist, America-first bastion. As the GOP standard-bearer, he was a kind of one-man wrecking ball whose positions on immigration, trade and keeping jobs at home prevailed over the party’s historic emphasis on social conservatism, free markets and small government.

Mr. Trump, in the interview, said the GOP should accept his policy changes and his new Republican converts. “We’ve brought millions and millions of people into the party…the forgotten men and women of America, who really built the country in a true sense,” he said.

From start to its finish, Mr. Trump seldom mentioned the word “Republican.” Indeed, his GOP challengers during the primaries attempted to paint him as a Democrat in Republican clothing. Mr. Trump preferred to characterize his campaign another way: “This is a movement, folks, like they’ve never seen before,” he repeatedly told crowds.

At the same time, his closest advisers weren’t traditional Republicans. Stephen Bannon, who took a leave as the chairman of Breitbart News to join the campaign as chief executive in August, is an arch conservative who made films about the rise of the tea party and advised Sarah Palin. He urged the candidate to give full voice to the populist and nationalist message that appeals to his base.

Jared Kushner, a successful real-estate developer, is married to Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka. They are fixtures on Manhattan’s mostly liberal social scene. He quietly set up key headquarters functions including social media, data, scheduling, policy and online fundraising. He served as the intermediary in dealings with GOP factions including the Republican National Committee, wealthy donors and foreign leaders.

As the race tightened in the campaign’s final days, Mr. Trump finally appealed to more traditional Republicans by sticking to his prepared remarks on a teleprompter on the GOP favorite topics of Obamacare and Clinton corruption. He succeeded in “bringing home” some GOP lawmakers to support him publicly, even as some, including former presidents and some rivals, refused to unify behind him...
Still more.