The president has become the thing he most despises.
“We’re going to win so much that you’re going to be sick and tired,” Donald Trump promised in 2016. Over the next four years, the American people did get sick (nearly 10 million of them so far from COVID-19), and they did get tired, and in the end they decided they’d had enough.
In doing so, they exposed Trump, whose entire career and public persona have been built on an image of constantly winning, as a loser. With Pennsylvania having completed its blue shift into Joe Biden’s column, the election is effectively over, and the president has been defeated. The exact contours of the loss aren’t clear yet, but the ultimate outcome is.
Trump has not admitted it, and probably won’t. There’s no reason to expect a grudging concession from him, much less a gracious one; perhaps the most interesting question is whether he’ll bother to show up for Biden’s inauguration, and how he’ll behave if he does. On Thursday, before Pennsylvania flipped blue, Trump spoke for the first time since early Wednesday morning, delivering an unhinged and baseless statement insisting that the election was being stolen from him. (Many of the TV networks, which are very slowly getting wise to his tricks, quickly cut in or made it clear that the statement was nonsense.) As Biden took the lead in Pennsylvania on Friday, the Trump campaign’s general counsel insisted that the race was still on.