Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A DAY IN THE LIFE (of Chicago): The Election Day 2016 hangover?

Andrew Jackson, Samuel Tilden, Grover Cleveland, Al Gore, and now, Hillary Clinton -- those are the five individuals in U.S. history who managed to win the popular vote when they ran for president, yet didn't win their electoral bids.
George W. has something in common with Donald
In the cases of Jackson and Cleveland, they both later tried again and won the presidency. While Clinton is likely to wind up in the category of Tilden and Gore – whose political careers ended with their electoral defeats.

I BRING THIS up because it seems that Donald Trump will gain a historic Fdistinction that I’m sure he won’t want to acknowledge – a majority of the people who voted didn’t want him.

He only gets to call himself “president-elect” these days because of the vagaries of the Electoral College process, which allowed him to gain the political support of states with sizable rural areas that could overcome their metro population centers.

In places like New York, California and Illinois (which have the three largest cities in the nation that dominate their state political processes), it was a good day for Clinton. Yet elsewhere, we get to see a national map of red – with blue blotches that clearly show you where all the cities of any size are located.

For the record, as of Wednesday morning there were 59.34 million votes for Clinton, compared to 59.18 million for Trump.

I DO FIND one bit of irony, in that amidst all the political speculation leading up to Election Day there were people who speculated about the concept of the popular vote and the Electoral College producing differing results. Yet all the people who discussed the idea did so on the basis that Trump would be the choice of “the people” and that it would be Clinton who would somehow only gain the presidency through the Electoral College process.

Which was identical to the George W. Bush/Al Gore election cycle of 2000. Gore got the popular vote total (50,999,897 votes), even though many people were willing to presume that it would be Bush (50,456,002 votes) who would be the pick of the masses.

Why are we so eager to believe that “the people” want these political officials willing to pander to the ideologues, who if they had any sense ought not go around ever complaining again about the electoral process being rigged.

So what else are we pondering these days, aside from the fact that suburban Park Ridge native Clinton will not give us a second consecutive president with strong Chicago ties?

THE HOARDS HAVE REALLY OVERRUN THE LAND OF DuPAGE: I realize Illinois has changed – being one of the few places nationally that gave comfort to Democratic Party political interests.

Yet learning that in a GOP-leaning year, Hillary Clinton managed to win DuPage County so solidly is such a shock. She took 53.9 percent of the county’s vote, compared to only 39.8 percent for Trump. In fact, Clinton won all the suburban counties surrounding Cook, including Lake County in Indiana (58.4 percent) even though the Hoosier State was actually first in the nation for Trump – except for up in far northwest McHenry.

Where Trump managed to take a slim 50.7 percent voter majority.

This really became a matter of a rural majority that Trump managed to milk for all it was worth, with many interests that should have backed Hillary falling short of anticipated support.

COME TOGETHER? OR SHUT UP!: Just a thought about the victory speech that Donald Trump made just before 2 a.m. Central Standard Time. It is being spun by some as a sign that Trump wants to work with all and the people who opposed him were being so irrational in their fears.
KIRK: Setting a standard for concessions?

When Trump says we need to “Come together as one united people,” my gut reaction is to hear a grouchy grandpa say, “Shut up and do what you’re told.” That sentiment would certainly be consistent with all the trash talk that Trump spewed during the campaign cycle.

Anyway, now we move on, and accept the reality that a Trump administration is likely to give new political life to people like Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich and also enable New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to have a future – none of which would have been possible prior to Tuesday.

And as for the coming together, we’ll see how conciliatory the meeting on Thursday is at the White House between Trump and President Barack Obama. Although I wonder if soon-to-be-former Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., has the right idea – a beer at the Billy Goat with his political conqueror, Tammy Duckworth.


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