Politics & Policy

The Corner

Re: Trump’s Victory Speech

In response to Peter Kirsanow, Tonight

Rich, you write that Trump’s victory speech “worked as a first impression for a president-elect who was incredibly radioactive as a candidate.” That was my impression, too. I’ve watched it twice this morning and I was surprised, I must say. But while it served fine as a “first impression,” it wasn’t a first test. Trump has always been level-headed when he’s winning. He’s always been good at turning around and praising those he’s savaged. He’s always been able to sound ecumenical when the crowd before him is positive. The test will come when someone writes or says or tweets something critical of him, and he feels a need to respond. I imagine that, whatever Hillary Clinton thinks privately, she was magnanimous on her concession call. But once the political fights start heating up, Chuck Schumer won’t be, and nor will the New York Times. It’s at that point that Trump is going to have to prove that he can rise above it all. Does he have it in him? I’m not sure.

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