By Michael R. Shannon
It's been a decade or more since I've enjoyed watching election returns on TV. Republicans are always being told not to give up hope; the campaign is gaining momentum in the last week. I remember four years ago there were reports from the Romney campaign that prospects for victory were looking up.
Instead of three little old ladies waiting in line for Mitt outside a Florida Golden Corral, there were now four.
Even in the midst of such encouraging news I still felt like a German soldier on the Eastern Front waiting for the advent of winter.
This year Trump was barnstorming the country like the Great Waldo Pepper with thousands of people packing areas to hear him speak. Yes, it looked very impressive compared to the handful Hillary allowed to stand at her bedside, but how much credence could one give to Trump's reports of eminent victory?
I was briefly encouraged when the director of the FBI performed an encore of the Hokey–Comey, but the last move he busted was to take his right foot out and proclaim Hillary was again disingenuous, negligent and unindictable.
Then there was the problem of which network? Could I take hours of smug Megyn Kelly gloating over a Trump defeat she eagerly anticipated?
As it turned out, Megyn and I both got a big surprise.
Trump extended his record of proving me 100 percent wrong.
Once acknowledging a Trump victory was unavoidable, watching the pundits squirm became very entertaining. The pathetic Karl Rove was claiming Trump owed Speaker Paul Ryan for his victory in Wisconsin. If Ryan is the measure of support, then Trump should be equally grateful to illegal aliens for providing the rioters that roughed up his supporters outside rallies.
Dana Perino allowed that veterans of the Bush administration might hold their nose and agree to work with Trump, which is quite an understatement. Trump will soon discover it's easier to rid himself of head lice than it is to shed Bush hangers–on wanting a place on the Trump train.
Many on Fox couldn't rid themselves of their condescending, establishment mindset, even with the results of Trump's victory starring them in the face. Sean Hannity, an early and vocal Trump backer, was asked if he thought Trump could find a way to reach out to Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Hannity injected a note of realism when he observed tartly that those two had better figure out a way to reach out to Trump.
Currently the opposition media is speculating regarding what the effects of a Trump victory will be in the next few months. But I say he's already had an impact. The good news is "assault rifles" just became a lot cheaper.
On the other hand Hillary Clinton's speaking fees took a big hit. She'll be lucky if she can land a job cutting ribbons for new Chipotles and chances are she'll be paid in burrito bowls. No more demands for private jet transportation. Hillary will have to depend on the coyotes to get her there like the rest of the help does.
The exodus from the Clinton Corruption Foundation will look like Occupy protestors fleeing a meth lab explosion. The only jobs Hillary ever created were at the foundation and it took donations to make that possible. Now the charity–funded, administration–in–waiting has the same fund raising potential as Trump University.
What does the future look like if your only marketable skill is selecting the pantsuit of the day?
Bill will feel the effects, too. He won't be picking up any more hotties on billionaire's executive jets. He'll be back at the bus station scouting talent with the rest of the chicken hawks.
Clintons and their hangers on aren't the only economic victims of the Trump victory. Election day was a nationwide experiment in the value of a paid GOTV (Get Out the Vote) ground game. Experts griped that Trump's lack of one was yet another reason he wasn't fit to be the nominee.
Today consultants peddling manpower–intensive GOTV programs just saw the market for their services plummet. Trump's "Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey" campaign proved those anecdotal people showing up at a rally also show up at the polls.
And speaking of refugees, what about the more–conservative–than–thou #NeverTrump crowd? The Weekly Standard and the National Review were both hotbeds of the anti–trump commentariat. I wouldn't be surprised if embarkation process for the post–election cruises both magazines sponsor resembles Saigon in 1975.
I briefly considered joining one of the cruises to gloat, but then it struck me: Do those embarking on the #NeverTrump cruise plan to come back?
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at mandate.mmpr (at) gmail.com. He is also the author of Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor