BY Arun Kumar
In the end only a Chinese monkey, an Indian fish and a brainy bot made by a Desi techie got it right – the Donald would be president.
Pundits had dismissed Donald Trump as an ignoramus, his own Republican Party elite had shunned the disrupter, pollsters were cocksure his incredible run would go up in smoke and for a motley crowd of comedians he was their daily fodder.
His Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton had branded “half of his supporters” a “basket of deplorables” — “Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it.”
Her hubby Bill, the former president, had labelled the farmers and workers toiling in the fields and factories as uneducated “rednecks” with the “dishonest media” putting Trump under the scanner with vengeance after kicking themselves for “creating” him.
Not to be left behind, in the “new politics of late night” as the Time magazine acknowledged, the comics “with a ripe orange target” in sight unabashedly started “ditching balance and taking sides.”
Sitting “in a bubble,” as filmmaker Michael Moore wrote in a Facebook post, they had not cared to see how the ever surging crowds at Trump’s rallies were wearing the insults hurled at them with pride on their tees as “Adorable Deplorables.”
And Barack Obama, the first black tenant of the White House, echoing Clinton had called the brash billionaire who could be baited with a tweet as “dangerous and unfit” to be trusted with the nuclear code as Commander-in-Chief.
Yet here he was standing in the Rose Garden recalling to a shell shocked bunch of staffers and the press his election eve forecast that “regardless of whether your candidate won or lost, the sun would come up in the morning.”
“And that is one bit of prognosticating that actually came true. The sun is up,” he noted. And the sun did come up on the morrow too when the real estate mogul came calling on his “Trump Force One” to lay claim on the most prized property in Washington.
Sitting in the Oval Office that would be his in 70 days, Trump, who had till almost till the very end questioned his host’s birth place, acting very presidential called their 90-minute chat a “great honour”.
They had “an excellent and wide-ranging conversation,” said a gracious Obama telling his guest at their first face-to-face meeting: “If you succeed, then the country succeeds.”
That hopefully ended the bitter feud between the two going back to that April 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner where Obama had roasted Trump on the “birther” issue.
If the mogul ever became president, he would add a high-rise, a neon sign with Trump’s name on the facade and a whole lot more gold to the White House, the president teased pointing to a mock-up picture of the executive mansion.
Left -leaning liberal comic Stephen Colbert began his election-night live special with an animated cartoon tracing Trump’s quest for the White House to his humiliation by Obama then.
He had come prepared for another all night roast of the billionaire, but as Trump quickly neared the magic number of 270 electoral votes, Colbert could only mumble: “Wow. That’s a horrifying prospect. I can’t put a happy face on that, and that’s my job.”
No one had seen what was coming. Not Colbert, not any of the major news outlets, nor the Chinese American Princeton professor who had vowed to “eat a bug” if Trump crossed 240.
“You were so wrong for so long. You misled your readers and were blinded by your own journalistic bigotry,” an angry reader wrote to the New York Times as the daily acknowledged in a post mortem. Many others “ominously” cancelled subscriptions.
But even as Trump conferred with Obama at the White House, thousands of “Not Our President” protesters took to the streets across the country.
The media quickly renewed its feud with the mogul as he sent them into a tizzy by first calling the “professional protesters, incited by the media” as “unfair” and then praising them for their “passion for our great country.”
And the pundits who were ever ready to proclaim the Teflon Trump “toast” over the insults he hurled at his opponents were yet to reconcile to the fact that come January 20 “President Trump” would be the toast of the town.