In an interview this week, Trump handed copies of the county-by-county 2016 electoral map to the three reporters assembled
The 2016 election was a validation of massive proportions for Trump
Donald Trump has been President for 100 days. And it’s been even longer – 172 days – since Trump actually won the election.
But, for Trump, that November 8 night is like yesterday. Or at least he’d like it to be.
In an interview with Reuters earlier in the week, Trump handed out copies of the county-by-county 2016 electoral map to each of the three reporters assembled in the Oval Office. “Here, you can take that, that’s the final map of the numbers,” Trump said. “It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.”
The Washington Post’s Phil Rucker recounted that Trump asked him during a 100-days interview to put the 2016 map on the newspaper’s front page.
And, in a speech to the National Rifle Association on Friday in Atlanta, Trump led off with a recounting of his 2016 electoral victory. “Hundreds of times I heard, there is no, you know, there’s no route,” Trump said. “There is no route to 270 and we ended with 306. So they were right. Not 270. 306. That was some evening.”
All politicians like to revel in their victories. But Trump takes that reveling to a whole other level. He seems totally and completely fixated on the 2016 electoral map in a way that leads even some of his allies to wonder if he’s ever going to, you know, move on.
Why the obsession?
To understand that, you have to go back decades to when Trump was a young man. His father, Fred, was a major builder in first Queens and then Brooklyn. But never Manhattan. Fred Trump wasn’t a big wheel in the big borough. He was on the outside looking in.
When his son, Donald, took over the real estate business, he planted his flag right in the middle of Manhattan – on glitzy 5th Avenue no less. But, even then, the old money of New York City didn’t accept the brash Trump into their clubs. He was on the outside looking in.
Trump eventually built his own clubs and named them after himself. Then he started to get interested in politics. He came to Washington for the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner and sat through an evening of embarrassment as President Barack Obama and comedian Seth Meyers mocked his political ambition – and his focus on Obama’s birth certificate – relentlessly. He was on the outside looking in.
Trump spent the majority of his 17-month presidential campaign being told he could never win, that he didn’t fit the mold of what it took to be president. He was on the outside looking in.
Then, he won. And, in winning, he proved – beyond any doubt – what he had spent his life believing: That he knew better, and was better, than all the people who had turned their noses up at him all of those years. The elites who hadn’t let him into their clubs, who had laughed at him, would all now come a-calling. He was the President.
The 2016 election, then, was a validation of massive proportions for Trump. It was THE proof point of his rightness – not just in that election, but in his life.
That’s why Trump can’t leave the 2016 election and the electoral map it produced behind. Because, for him, it represents the validation of, literally, his entire existence.