Our country’s major, and most respected media outlets, such as CNN, MSNBC, and the AP, all called the presidential election, on Saturday afternoon, November 7th, for the former Vice-President Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris (D-CA). Biden was over the 270 electoral college votes needed for victory. The latest number put him at 290 and Trump at 214.
Biden, who will be our 46th president, responded by saying he was “honored and humbled” to end up the victor in a contest where a “record number of Americans voted.”
A twice vice-president of the U.S., Biden hails from Scranton, PA. As the fates would have it, it was the results from the state of Pennsylvania that put him over the top in his electoral college battle with Trump.
Trump, who had hit the golf course in Virginia after the news that he had lost the election broke, had this to say: “The simple fact is: this election is far from over…Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner…Legal votes decide who is president and not the news media… I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count that they deserve and that Democracy demands.”
On his way to the golf course, Trump tweeted: “I won this election by a lot!” Really? Where was his proof for that claim?
Trump’s version of how he went down to defeat featured the charge that aspects of the mainstream media “suppressed the vote.” This allegation did get some support from a respected pollster – John McLaughlin.
According to the site, Blabber/Buzz, McLaughlin said a survey orchestrated by the Washington Post/ABC wrongly showed Trump “trailing” the former V.P. by 17 points in the battleground state of Wisconsin. McLaughlin said this was an example of a Biden campaign strategy to “suppress” the Trump vote.
Of course, what really happened in Wisconsin is open to a number of interpretations. The Democrats will see Trump’s version as falling into the sour grapes category.
While Trump has geared up to challenge the results of the election in Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada, and other states, Biden said he will be focusing on promoting the themes of “unity and healing” for our badly-splintered America.
In his speech on Saturday night, November 7th, from Wilmington, Delaware, Biden hit those themes and also indicated that he will make combatting the Coronavirus his first priority.
Wisely, Biden is pausing to enjoy his hard-fought victory, as are his many supporters around the country. However, he can expect to experience more verbal fireworks coming out of the disgruntled Trump camp in the weeks ahead.
I need to make this point: Trump is a survivor with few equals. Pundit Jane Mayer put it this way in “The New Yorker” magazine issue of November 9th: “He has famously survived one impeachment, two divorces, six bankruptcies, twenty-six accusations of sexual misconduct and an estimated four thousand lawsuits.”
Most lawyers don’t have an inventory of 4,000 cases over a lifetime. Trump, Mr. Ego himself, has 4,000 and counting.
Mayer continued: “Few people have evaded consequences more cunningly than Trump. That run of good luck may well end, perhaps brutally, when he loses to Joe Biden.”
Indeed, that is exactly what happened on November 3rd. Trump did lose. There will be no second presidential term for him.
Mayer said that the soon-to-be ex-president can now expect “two investigations” by New York state and city officials to re-surface and proceed against him.
One case involves the New York City District Attorney, Cyrus Vance; and the other, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Letitia James. These two officials, Mayer reports, are independently pursuing “potential criminal charges related to Trump’s business practices before he became president.”
Mayer also predicted that Trump’s legal expenses, after he leaves office, are likely to be “daunting.” His finances, she continued, are already under “growing strain.”
To make her point, Mayer said Trump has “deadlines” to meet for more than “three hundred million dollars in loans” that he had personally guaranteed. In addition, he has about “nine hundred million dollars worth of real estate debt that will come due within the next four years.”
Mayer added Trump is fighting, too, with the IRS over “a deduction” that he had claimed on his income tax forms.” An adverse ruling, she underscored, could cost him “a hundred million dollars.”
Associates of Trump have said that recently he has been in a “foul mood” and that they have never seen him “so angry.” Mayer mentioned, too, Trump’s acting out on the “60 Minutes” TV show with Lesley Stahl on October 20th, made that point clear for all Americans to see.
The author Lawrence Douglas, has written a book on Trump. Its title is right on the money: “Will He Ever Go?” A law professor, Douglas has predicted that Trump will, “continue to be a source of chaos and division in the nation.”
With about seventy-five days to go before Trump vacates the White House, a lot of Americans, besides Professor Douglas and pundit Mayer, are worried what kind of ugly mess will he get us into.
Most doubt Trump will fade away as other presidents have done in the past. He craves the spotlight too much to do that and his narcissism simply won’t permit it. If he refuses to leave the White House, which is a real possibility, all hell could break loose.
I think President-Elect Biden, however, will be ready for Trump, if he acts out. The penalty for any miscalculation on Trump’s part could mean ending his days, not at his luxurious Florida retreat, but wearing an orange jumpsuit.
This, Donald Trump, is not South America.
Bill Hughes is an attorney, author, actor and photographer. His latest book is “Byline Baltimore.” It can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/William-Hughes/e/B00N7MGPXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1