Five days before the 2016 election, after campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Florida, President Obama boarded Marine One. Aides flagged an email from the White House political director relaying the Clinton campaign’s final requests of the incumbent: Would he, the day before the election, stump in Pennsylvania and Michigan?
“Michigan?” Obama asked, eyes wide. “That’s not good.”
In the weeks that followed Donald Trump’s victory, the president struggled to understand how his onetime rival and former secretary of state had squandered what had appeared, at virtually all points, to be a nearly insurmountable polling lead. At times Obama seemed to