It’s been a year since Donald Trump won the White House. Remember? After a long night of election returns, multiple news organizations at last declared that Mr. Trump had won the White House. A two-year campaign battle was over. Hillary Clinton had lost. Grim anchors and crestfallen reporters blinked at one another as coverage shifted from images of weeping Democrats to the new president-elect — who walked out on a New York City stage with his family at 2:48 a.m., and stepped up to the microphone with a clear message.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division, to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans. And this is so important to me. It’s been amazing. And I love this country,” Mr. Trump told the nation in that singular moment — even as legions of journalists and broadcasters began preparations to go to war against the incoming administration, primed to deliver critical coverage — or no coverage at all.
Few of them realized that Mr. Trump simply did not care what they thought, and was ready and able to stay on message, stay on task and fire back when necessary.
“Such a beautiful and important evening! The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again. We will all come together as never before,” the new president-elect tweeted four hours after his appearance that night, just as the sun was coming up.
Much of the irked press still can’t believe it. Democrats who can’t come to terms with the Trump presidency have promised to scream in the streets on Wednesday to mark the anniversary. One pastor, however, had an explanation for it all at the time.
“Did God show up? In watching the news after the election, the secular media keep asking ‘How did this happen?’ ‘What went wrong?’ ‘How did we miss this?’ Some are in shock. Political pundits are stunned. Many thought the Trump/Pence ticket didn’t have a chance. None of them understand the God-factor,” said evangelist Franklin Graham in the immediate aftermath, citing voters who prayed, then went to the polls.
A FEW POSITIVE NUMBERS
In a review of events since President Trump was elected, Wall Street 24/7 analysts Douglas A. McIntyre and John Harrington report that the Consumer Confidence Index has reached its highest level in 17 years. As of the start of November, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 29 percent since Trump’s election. The number of people applying for jobless benefits reached a near 44.5-year low. Since January, the number of unemployed people fell by 1.1 million, and unemployment dropped to a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, the analysts report.
“The public’s views of local job availability continue to improve,” notes the Pew Research Center in citing its own national survey, adding “50 percent of Americans say there are plenty of jobs available in their communities — the highest number saying that jobs are plentiful in Pew Research Center surveys dating to 2001.”
DICEY FOR THE DEMS
“Favorable views of the Democratic Party have dropped to their lowest mark in more than a quarter century of polling, according to new numbers from a CNN poll,” writes Ryan Struyk, a data reporter for the cable news network, which released the findings on Tuesday.
“Only 37 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Democrats, down from 44 percent in March of this year. A majority, 54 percent, have an unfavorable view,” he said, noting that when compared to other surveys on the Democrats, this is the worst negative finding on the party since 1992.
“The rating includes low favorable ratings from some core Democratic groups, including nonwhites (48 percent) and people under 35 years old (33 percent),” Mr. Struyk said. “The numbers come amid recent feuds and divisions in the Democratic Party, as former interim chair Donna Brazile‘s new book has unveiled new questions about infighting during the 2016 presidential campaign.”
But wait. The Republican Party isn’t faring so well either in the poll, garnering a 30 percent favorability rating. It is unchanged since September, however, which at least means the lousy ratings aren’t getting worse.
MEANWHILE, AMONG THE BIG TALKERS
They are glib, charming, insulting, cranky, funny, learned, loud, insightful — we’re talking TV hosts here, who chat, judge, entertain, bloviate and moderate their way through popular day and nighttime shows with ease. They get paid a lot too. From Forbes, here are the world’s highest-paid TV hosts — all of them deemed “powerful brands, and highly trusted by their audiences.”
In first place is Phil McGraw — “Dr. Phil” — with an annual salary of $79 million. Ellen DeGeneres is in second place with $77 million a year, followed by Ryan Seacrest ($58 million), “Judge Judy” Sheindlin ($47 million), Simon Cowell ($43.5 million), Steve Harvey ($42.5 million), Bill O’Reilly ($37 million), Sean Hannity ($36 million), Michael Strahan ($21.5 million) and Heidi Klum ($21 million).
Fox News Channel remains the most watched network in the entire cable realm, besting such rivals as ESPN, USA and Hallmark, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News also remains the top cable news channel — as it has been for the last 16 years — pulling in 2.7 million prime-time viewers, compared to 1.9 million for MSNBC and 1 million for CNN. “Hannity” was the most watched program of all, with 3.3 million viewers
Fox Business Network, meanwhile, continues to beat CNBC, attracting 222,000 viewers compared to CNBC’s 184,000. As it has for over a year, “Lou Dobbs Tonight” was the top-rated program in business TV, with 381,000 viewers.
POLL DU JOUR
• 65 percent of Americans say “most members of Congress” do not deserve to be re-elected; 51 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of independents and 71 percent of Democrats agree.
• 23 percent say the members deserve to be re-elected; 36 percent of Republicans, 20 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats agree.
• 46 percent overall say the U.S. representative in their own district deserves re-election; 58 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 38 percent of Democrats agree.
• 39 percent overall say their representative does not deserve re-election; 25 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents and 44 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A CNN/SSRS poll of 1,021 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 2-5.
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