The polls had it wrong, the Clinton campaign had it wrong, and everyone in the media had it wrong. As it turns out, even Donald Trump had it wrong. At a victory rally in West Allis, Wisconsin on Tuesday, the president-elect admitted that he went into election night expecting to lose.
“I went to see my wife. I say, ‘Baby, I tell you what. We’re not going to win tonight,'” Trump said. “The polls are coming out — I always used to believe in those things. I don’t believe them anymore.”
Trump said that his expectations played a role in his choice of venue on election night. Known for his audaciousness, Trump surprised many when he held his celebration in a darkened Hilton ballroom – a far cry from the stunning palace of glass and light Hillary Clinton had chosen. Now we know he picked a low-key venue simply because he had no expectation of winning the election.
“I said if we’re going to lose I don’t want a big ballroom,” Trump recalled.
But then, on election night, as we all remember, the mood started to change. “The map was getting red as hell,” Trump said with a smile. “That map was bleeding red.”
After four solid weeks of the most cynical, reprehensible reporting we’ve ever seen from the news media, it’s refreshing to take a pause and remember what it felt like on November 8th. What a night! The most optimistic among us thought it could happen, but no one went into that night feeling like the election was in the bag. And looking back on it, looking at that Hilton ballroom, you know that Trump didn’t think so either. He might have been as shocked as Hillary!
In any event, it was an epic victory – not just for Trump and not just for conservatives. This was an epic victory for the millions of Americans who have felt betrayed by Washington for decades, regardless of the party in power. Barack Obama’s terrible presidency (and Republican weakness) brought the anger to a crescendo, but it’s been building for a long time. For all the people who thought the system was so utterly rigged by the rich elitists, election night was more than a presidential victory: it was the night we took our country back.
Trump rose to the call of history, and now history is in his hands. God be with him as he strives to make his campaign slogan a reality.