By Jack Feldman
At The Washington Center, academic sessions are now in full swing. Today was a look at the election. At why what happened, happened. This postmortem discussion was held in the form of a panel with a Q&A afterward. The panelists were: Ruy Teixiera, Research Fellow, The Century Foundation, John Hudak, Deputy Director – Center for Effective Public Management, Brookings Institution, and David Lauter, Washington Bureau Chief, LA Times.
There is a lot to unpack after this election cycle but the panelists helped us understand what went into Trump’s victory.
Teixiera was the data guy, talking about how the white working class in the rust belt carried the election for Donald Trump and how the Clinton campaign also outperformed in areas like highly educated white voters. However, Trump won the working class by a higher margin, making the gains that Clinton achieved in the other categories irrelevant to the outcome of the election.
Hudak talked about how the theme of the election was actually not about change but instead a focus on keeping Clinton out of the Whitehouse. He also spoke on how Trump’s promise to drain the swamp would come back to haunt him because he has no political experience to achieve what he wants. Trump needs the “swamp” to help him do his job.
Overall, I loved this panel discussion because I can never get enough campaign analysis. It’s what I live for and exploring the different possibilities and scenarios, even of future elections, makes me smile.
For me, the main take away from the panel was that both parties are weak and have major improvements to make. Trump took over the Republican party and the Democratic party lost part of its expansive coalition during the 2016 election. This leaves me with the feeling that we should have learned a lot about ourselves during this election. Hopefully we take these lessons and apply them next time around.
Now to something of equal importance; the grocery situation in the NoMa neighborhood (North of Massachusetts Avenue). Giant and Harris Teeter are some exemplary providers of produce and no one can dispute that. This is because of the astounding apple selection that they offer. My latest jaunt to the Giant grocery store left me with “jazz apples” and these fruit are very aptly named. I have gone from curious to obsessed and I just needed to tell the world about my love of jazz apples. Thank you for indulging me!