His election is the most earth-shattering political upset since Truman defeated Dewey in 1948. And Trump campaigned in a Trumanesque manner. Like Truman, he spoke the language of real people. Like Truman, he reached out to everyday Americans. Like Truman, he was not afraid to cajole, provoke and challenge conventional wisdom peddled by the mainstream media. And like Truman, Trump was given to using salty language.
Both men showed a mischievous side and enjoyed a good laugh as well.
Yes, Harry Truman was dismissed by elites as crude, brusque, ill-informed and culturally illiterate.
The Man from Missouri was seen as a small town wannabe not worthy of any high office much less
the presidency. The powers-that-be viewed him as an impulsive pretender, an inconsequential obstruction that they simply needed to get beyond.
They were both grossly underestimated (something which did not seem to bother either man) and they both defied the odds and triumphed.
Plus, Truman wasn't idealogical and neither is Trump. Pragmatism is yet another thing they share.
Why didn't Hillary Clinton succeed?
Well, of course, she not likable as a public person. She may be quite a likable person in her everyday dealings but on the Big Stage, she comes off as rehearsed and artificial. She seems out of her league. There's just something unnatural, often downright awkward and ill-at-ease, about the way she approaches public life.
She's not very funny. She's not very engaging. She's not very open or spontaneous.
No, she wasn't as aloof as the imperious Thomas E. Dewey (Truman's hapless opponent) but, alongside Trump she seemed to stiffen and/or cringe. She simply wasn't a match for him.
Watching Hillary Clinton during the debates, we often thought she would have made a great policy wonk, backstage advisor or leader of one of those Washington think tanks. After all, she was quite happy when she worked for the Children's Defense Fund inside the beltway. That seemed to be her natural domain. She's comfortable around bureaucrats and functionaries.
But she got mixed up with Bubba and was hopelessly drawn into his raucous, reckless, trashy and ultimately destructive vortex.
Why did she hang on?
Why didn't she leave when she had the chance, or chances for that matter? There were many moments when she could have simply walked away and defined herself, unencumbered by such an immature, egotistical and ruinous mate.
Well, that's a question that will be studied endlessly.