The American election has come and gone and yet two days later the shock remains - and it would seem for everyone, from all parties. The mood at the White House, throughout DC and Virginia, has been somber and muted at the least. New Yorkers say that mood was replicated in NYC.
Directly after election night, we were summoned to the White House Rose Garden wherein President Obama issued a statement. Most of the White House staffers gathered and what was striking, at the end of the speech, was the extended round of fulsome handclapping for their boss President Obama. President Obama reminded the nation that still, "The sun would come up in the morning." Clearly disappointed in the results, President Obama also appeared as being a little relieved that, at the least America had done their duty and elected a President, even though it appeared and still appears to be in mourning about it. However, that is where the conundrum lies for America. Many people did in fact vote for Donald Trump, more than enough in fact, to elect him to the White House. The outcome was clear, the margins were great enough for it to be an undisputed result overall. It was a resounding victory for Donald Trump. The American people have spoken.
Power is transient and the many millennials working in the White House, in their first and second job ever, and now used to frequent trips on Air Force One, had their first taste of the nature of this fleeting moment in their lives. It was to the younger ones that President Obama was particularly conciliatory. "To the young people who got into politics for the first time, you have to stay encouraged. Don't get cynical. Don't ever think you can't make a difference. As Secretary Clinton said fighting for what you think is right is important." To all his staff, President Obama said, "Everyone on my team should be extraordinarily proud of what they have done."
Earlier the next day, today in fact, President Obama met Donald Trump. However it was the day before and the months preceding that set the tone for the meeting. President Obama has for the past three months spoken highly of the effectiveness and work that the Bush family did to help ease the transition for his family into the White House. Rising above partisan politics Obama said, "I have instructed my team to follow the example President Bush's team set 8 years ago and to work as hard as we can to make sure this is a successful transition for the President- Elect because we are now all rooting for his success in leading the country." True to form President Obama has been nothing short of dignified and professional in welcoming President Elect Donald Trump to the White House. Obama noted that, "The peaceful transition to power is one of the hallmarks of democracy."
While both President-Elect Donald Trump and President Obama managed to behave professionally after election night, Trumps first foray to the White House was marked with protests in spots around America as a nation divided came to grips with the situation. Trump supporters even personally attacking White House correspondents on the internet for doing their job for covering Trump's foray to the White House. What is weird, is that they won and voted for Trump! "Sore winners," quipped Hollywood director James Merindino.
President-Elect Donald Trump was respectful and well-disposed to President Obama. A turnaround from years denigrating Obama - maybe the election was just a game and nothing personal for Trump. Trump pointed out that Obama was a good man and then he intended to seek his counsel often. Many would agree that the nation would benefit if Trump did.
It is early days for America to come to grips with an election where the popular vote was in MS Clinton's favor and the electoral systems played out to make Donald Trump the winner.
As President Obama stated, sometimes you lose an argument, sometimes you lose an election. The path that America has taken has never been a straight line. 'We zig and we zag, and sometimes we move in ways that some people think is forward and others think is moving back. And that's okay. "I've lost elections before. That's the way politics work." President Obama noted the importance of the good faith of citizens. "The presumption of good faith is essential to a vibrant and functioning economy."