As Super Tuesday voting approaches, Donald Trump holds a commanding position in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. If current polling holds tonight, Trump’s lead will be strengthened, and the once-fantastical prospect of a Trump presidency will be real. But how would President Trump govern? Which of his extreme campaign promises would he keep? How would he redecorate the White House? New York Magazine’s team of political commentators — Jonathan Chait, Rebecca Traister, Rembert Browne, Annie Lowrey, Gabriel Sherman, Marin Cogan, Ed Kilgore, Margaret Hartmann and Eric Levitz — assembled yesterday in Slack to imagine this scenario, moderated by digital editor Ben Williams.
Ben Williams: It’s Friday, January 20, 2017, Trump’s inauguration. Who’s there?
Rebecca Traister: Isn’t his favorite book his own? So I assume he will also write his own inaugural poem.
Annie Lowrey: Only the true believers and the mercenaries will show up. I think that means Chuck Norris and Ted Nugent.
Traister: Also Kid Rock.
Rembert Browne: The terrible thing about Trump is that he picks really good music at his rallies. So I think the Trump presidency playlist is going to be kind of good.
Eric Levitz: The ceremony would begin with a 90-second clip of Trump, seated in The Apprentice boardroom, firing Obama (who will be played by Dennis Rodman).
Marin Cogan: I think the parties go on, but the self-loathing is greater than usual.
Levitz: I imagine that the journalists would be kept in actual pens at the inauguration, and Trump supporters and detractors will throw tomatoes at them in equal number.
Traister: Or they are granted enormous access, which makes them very excited.
Williams: Is Christie the VP? And if he is, does Trump subcontract governing to him, Cheney-style?
Lowrey: I think Trump employs his considerable executive authority and has a deeply adversarial relationship with Congress.
Traister: No way is Christie VP. Way too much competition. But I have no guess as to who he’d pick as VP.
Cogan: I can’t see Trump ceding control to anyone, but it’s clear he’d need someone who’s actually, you know, done this before. Maybe it’s Christie and he ends up as one of the most powerful vice-presidents in history! Not a bad comeback from Bridgegate.
Traister: I wouldn’t be surprised if he kept a VP subsidiary, but got a bunch of advisers and maybe a cabinet that could really steer him.
Lowrey: I’m guessing he fills it with yahoos and it’s a catastrophe.
Gabriel Sherman: At his business, Trump does very little of the actual work. He listens to people and absorbs what they say. He doesn’t use a computer or read much of anything. He doesn’t have much attention span.
Traister: Can I just ask: Is there no chance that if he’s running against Hillary he feels compelled to pick a woman? Or is he just going to go for broke on the man ticket?
Lowrey: Ivanka. Oh my God, Ivanka.
Traister: I already thought of Ivanka, but she’s from the same state. It’s not legal. But seriously, she was my first thought.
Jonathan Chait: Okay, I realize this is my answer to every question, but: Paul Ryan. Ryan is the real leader of the party. In times of stress they turn to him. The request would be to save them from the abyss.
Lowrey: The Speaker is going to be so powerful in the Trump admin. But my guess is that it wouldn’t be a happy relationship. Ryan won’t listen to Trump, etc.
Ed Kilgore: I can’t imagine Ryan agreeing to go onto the ticket when he would automatically be the congressional/party broker with the Trump administration — not to mention the successor/savior in 2020.
Traister: But Jon, don’t you think he’d find it too threatening to go to someone who the party sees as the real leader?
Chait: Hmmm, Rebecca, good point. I was thinking Republicans will mostly feel the need to protect their brand by shaping it through participation. But Trump would probably humiliate Ryan repeatedly. Or anybody he has as Veep.
Browne: Would he pick someone he used to bully, or someone he hasn’t bullied before? Michael Steele?
Sherman: Well, at NBC, there are rumors Joe Scarborough wants to be VP. Although I doubt Trump would ever pick Scarborough.
Kilgore: I’m thinking maybe Rick Scott. He’s temperamentally compatible with Trump, from a key battleground state, a non-Washingtonian, soon to be out of a job. I figure the nod may well go to whatever GOP figure he hasn’t lethally insulted (or vice versa) by the time the nomination’s secure.
Browne: Wait, why would Trump pick a “politician” to be his VP? I feel like that would be anti-Trump, ya know. I think Trump might name himself for about seven to eight of the positions.
Lowrey: Who’s Trump’s chief of staff? That’s my question.
Levitz: What about Omarosa? Brings loyalty and diversity.
Sherman: A while back I heard Carl Icahn was telling people Trump doesn’t even really talk to him much. It’s hilarious: Trump is out there saying Icahn is gonna be his trade guy. Icahn told a source of mine he’s “not going to be Treasury secretary.”
Lowrey: Yeah, in terms of functionaries, it’s going to be fascinating to see if the Andy Cards and Josh Boltens of the world even get a reach-out.
Cogan: It’s hard — I really don’t see Trump drawing from the pool of any of the established choices. Seems to me like he’d pick mostly lackeys, people we’ve never heard of before who’ve worked for him for years. Like Corey Lewandowski for chief of staff.
Chait: Wasn’t there a Newt-as-chief-of-staff rumor recently? Which is hilarious because he is known for disorganization.
Lowrey: Newt started that.
Williams: Which of Trump’s campaign promises can he actually deliver on, and which will be forgotten immediately?
Lowrey: He can deliver on anything that he can do unilaterally from the White House. So, deportations. Immigration and the Supreme Court would be the most immediate changes.
Kilgore: If Trump is smart, the very first thing he does is appoint a SCOTUS nominee that conservative activists absolutely adore. Would buy him a lot of time and space from “the base.”
Chait: Trump presents an unusual challenge for any prediction. The usual method of predicting a presidency is to start with a fairly clear idea of that person’s goals, which can be pretty easily discerned, and then the guesswork comes when you project how they will act in the face of changing and limited circumstances. With Trump, it’s very difficult to know what his goals are.
Sherman: Agree with Chait. Trump is about maximizing his leverage. The policy is sort of irrelevant. Trump has said himself he will change his mind.
Cogan: Right. Beyond “winning a lot” and deportations and not letting people die in the street because they lack health care, what has he promised?
Chait: His views have changed so wildly, and he has so little to say on substance, it is possible to make the case for any number of things he actually wants. Or none of them, more likely.
Traister: And what if he actually doesn’t want to be president/only wants one term? The idea of who he has to please may fly out the window.
Browne: Exactly, Rebecca, he doesn’t actually want to do any of his policies. I think he just wants to see what he can get away with. This is less specific, but I feel like he’s going to try and see if he can change something drastic about the presidency, or the cabinet, or at the very least the White House. I genuinely think he’s like, Let’s see if I can change something in the Constitution this month?
Chait: That sounds right about the presidency.
Lowrey: If there’s an economic slowdown, that’s going to mean tax cuts, which Congress will pass.
Chait: Yup. If Trump is elected, that means there was probably a huge recession. So first order is a massive stimulus, which Republicans will be for again.
Lowrey: Yup. All on the tax side. How regressive they are is an interesting question.
Chait: Why not infrastructure? He could enact the Sanders infrastructure plan. Construction unions would love it.
Traister: What about health care?
Lowrey: I don’t think that he actually unwinds Obamacare. It would be politically and economically disastrous.
Traister: But do they do anything to weaken or strengthen it? Obamacare that is? And what?
Lowrey: They promise to do so, and then don’t. It’s just too hard. Or maybe it’s easy to weaken but hard to repeal. And if you do what they say they’d do, it would be unbelievably chaotic — hospitals bankrupted, etc.
Kilgore: Getting a tad abstract here, I think the key question is whether Trump’s relationship with the GOP is that of an “accidental president” they must endure and quickly replace (e.g. Tyler, Arthur, to some extent even Hayes) or an Andy Johnson they must fight. A lot — for this question and others — may be determined by how he wins.
Traister: I do have an insane theory, postelection. We know who Trump has called for advice in the past: the Clintons.
Williams: So does President Trump pander to the GOP agenda, does he try to be a centrist, or is he just an unpredictable wild card?
Chait: I honestly believe he would move to the center eventually, because it’s the path of least resistance.
Traister: I don’t think he panders. I don’t think he is a centrist. So I guess I’m gonna go with he’s an unpredictable wild card.
Lowrey: The question is: What will Congress pass that he’ll sign? Ultimately the domestic agenda, as always, is driven by Congress (not always, but … ). That’s my guess.
Margaret Hartmann: What if Trump proposes a centrist policy? Do congressional Democrats go along with it, or reject it just because it came from Trump?
Browne: A bully won’t just stop being a bully once they become president. I feel like he will find ways to harness that evil bully power and make it work in his favor when it comes to dealing with Congress, etc.
Kilgore: With any other GOP president, you’d get a quick reconciliation bill that repeals everything Obama did plus maybe a tax cut. Trump has yuuuuge leverage over what would go in or stay out.
Lowrey: Yeah. Let’s recall the last time we had a White House, Senate, and House controlled by one party. Big things happened.
Levitz: If Trump wins, the GOP surely has control over the other branches of government. Wouldn’t Congress try to hold him to a reactionary agenda? They might even have veto-proof majorities.
Sherman: I’m not sure a Trump win would give the GOP control over both houses. The Establishment GOP is freaked out that a Trump presidential win would mean big losses for down-ticket candidates. Trump voters aren’t GOP voters per se.
Traister: I think a Trump win could mean more Dem seats in states where Dems come out in force to defeat him.
Sherman: But, Rebecca, why aren’t we seeing Dems turn out for the primaries? Dem turnout is down 25 percent. You’d think the base would be motivated by how insane Trump and the GOP have become.
Traister: They’re not voting against him in the primaries. Also, turnout is up from ’04 in Dem primaries, just not ’08. Also, remember that even though the media has been obsessed with the “tight race” between Hillary and Bernie, lots of Americans have just assumed it’s Hillary. It hasn’t felt urgent or freighted until really recently. I do not worry about Dem turnout against Trump. I mean, I worry that Trump voter turnout could be higher. And I worry about the impact of voting restrictions on Dem voters. But I don’t worry about a feeling of urgency.
Chait: I agree that a Trump nomination probably means down-ticket losses for the GOP, but in a scenario where Trump wins, the whole party has probably done well.
Kilgore: A lot depends on whether you think GOP support would be necessary to a Trump win. If so, then a lot of this stuff would be worked out in advance, and you’d also probably get more straight-ticket voting.
Levitz: Unless we’re looking at the aftermath of a Bloomberg three-way.
Cogan: It is totally weird that he’s running by bashing Washington leaders, and then also promising that the way he’ll fix things is by making really great deals with those same Washington leaders. I can’t imagine Democrats ever working with him. With Republicans it’ll be much trickier.
Lowrey: I’m presuming Republicans keep the House and Senate. In a lot of ways, it’s easier to forecast what happens if Democrats come back for the Senate: a whole lot of nothing, plus some weird executive-authority stuff.
Sherman: Here’s a question: Does Trump actually try and do crazy stuff with the Justice Department? Does he “prosecute Hillary” as he says he will?
Traister: No. If Hillary loses this election, no one cares about prosecuting her anymore.
Kilgore: The big, big factor behind all of these questions is whether Republicans think they can trust Trump to keep his promises to them. Maybe they have no choice, but I figure they’d spend the entire general election trying to pin him down — whether or not that helped him win.
Williams: Let’s talk about deportation. Trump has threatened to deport all undocumented immigrants and cloaked himself in the ambience of white supremacy. Exactly how bad would his presidency be for minorities? What’s the worst-case scenario?
Chait: Like everything else, this circles back to the question of: Does Trump actually care about and believe this stuff, or is he merely using it for self-advancement?
Traister: On the issue of how real the white supremacy is, I think that gets to this question that none of us know the answer to. How real is he, and how much is he performing? And then, how beholden is he to the audience he’s performing for?
Lowrey: Well, he says that he wants to do it in two years.
Levitz: I think that, regardless of what Trump believes, his win, like his candidacy, would reinvigorate the domestic white-supremacist movement.
Sherman: Culturally, a Trump win could be terrible for minorities. His win would validate the thuggish sentiments of his followers. Remember at Trump rallies, his supporters have thought it’s okay to beat up protesters.
Traister: If he is either being sincere about his plans or really wants to be president and stay president, possibly forever, then he will need to follow through.
Hartmann: Isn’t it literally impossible to deport 11 million people?
Lowrey: The American Action Forum estimates it “would shrink the labor force by 10.3 million workers and reduce real GDP by $1 trillion.”
Kilgore: The default position on immigration is self-deportation. Trump doesn’t have to actually do anything other than rattle the saber.
Lowrey: You’d need huge numbers of lawyers, more prisons, a physical deportation infrastructure that does not exist. He could direct ICE to visit slaughterhouses, farms, and restaurants, and do immigration checks.
Hartmann: He’s creating jobs!
Chait: I don’t think Trump can do much on immigration. A large segment of his party elites, with representation in Congress, is concerned about losing the Latino vote. He could end DACA (as Rubio also promises). But I don’t see a big border-enforcement law.
Browne: I think if he’s serious, America gets real violent. The sneaky thing about Trump surging is that it’s an indictment on the views of the country, and if he actually pulled it off, I think a lot of minorities would be like, Well, we finally got our evidence that this country doesn’t care, and I don’t know what happens next.
Traister: I agree, Rembert. Because while Gabe is right that his election would validate a thuggishness, it would also provoke a furious resistance.
Williams: So take his promise to build the wall and have Mexico pay for it. How would that actually play out?
Chait: You had a faction supporting the Gang of Eight. They would break with Trump.
Levitz: Joe Arpaio was an early endorser — he could have a role in the administration.
Lowrey: My guess is that he’d get Congress to fund the wall and build it. It would cost a fortune, but Republicans would feel like they couldn’t say no. It would proceed to do absolutely nothing, and self-deportation actually would increase, on reasonable fears.
Sherman: I feel like Trump can’t back away from the wall. If there’s one issue he’s tied his brand to it’s that. He’ll do anything he can to see it through.
Traister: I agree about the wall.
Browne: Dude loves that wall.
Levitz: I’m not sure he’d want to back off the wall. Great way to channel money to friendly contractors.
Cogan: But he’s also sworn that Mexico must pay for the wall, which is not going to happen. So does he reverse course on that?
Hartmann: Won’t he be humiliated when Mexico says no?
Browne: I feel like his response will be “Oh yeah, you will, Mexico. You’ll see.”
Sherman: I think he’d fuck up bilateral relations before he backs down. He’ll wreck their (and our) economy to get them to cough up the money.
Levitz: On border-wall funding, I think he would blame Congress for refusing to pass his tariffs against Mexico.
Kilgore: Everybody needs a base of support that will not turn on you no matter what. Trump’s is nativists. He may disappoint them, but he cannot afford to alienate them. All he really needs to do for the racists (short-term) is what you’d expect: run the least “politically correct” White House in memory.
Chait: I’m trying to think back to the precedent for electing a POTUS whose views are so inscrutable. Eisenhower is the closest I can come up with. But Ike was the opposite kind of figure from Trump in so many ways.
Williams: What would a Trump presidency mean for women? On the one hand, he has a long history of sexist commentary; on the other, in the past, he’s shown relative support for abortion.
Traister: Yes, though now he hates abortion.
Cogan: One of my absolute favorite things about these debates is how the moderators have repeatedly baited Trump into saying that Planned Parenthood is great.
Hartmann: He defunds Planned Parenthood but gives them a hearty thanks for all the good they’ve done for women’s health.
Traister: He can’t defund Planned Parenthood on his own. Actually, the biggest thing he does on abortion is the Court.
Kilgore: Jon (and maybe Annie) and I probably disagree as to whether abortion or taxes is the core policy area Republicans care most about. But if he fails to deliver on a sure vote to reverse Roe v. Wade on the Court, or falls short of what a president can do on abortion policy otherwise, he will be at war with the GOP and the conservative movement for his entire presidency.
Traister: I think the backlash comes if we elect HRC. If Clinton gets the presidency, we’d get huge sexist fury from many sectors and the sense that sexism is solved. I mean, look, this is a pattern we’ve seen play out in Obama’s presidency. Of course there is also now a more robust conversation about racism, policing practices, a social movement, but that is after four to six years of a tidal wave of racial resentment post–Obama’s election.
Cogan: Right. I thought we were just starting to get near the point where it was socially unacceptable for politicians to be raging sexists in public, though. Trump would almost necessarily change that.
Kilgore: At the risk of a tangent here, I think a Democratic victory in November will create a nervous breakdown among conservatives, unless they can blame it on something like a Trump nomination.
Traister: Trump’s rise is predicated already on sexist and racist reactions to figures including Obama and Clinton. The fact that Trump gets to be the nominee (probably) and that his competitors also got to be as ragingly awful as they are — these are all signs of backlash.
Williams: Bill Clinton installed a hot tub at the White House. Obama installed a basketball court. What would Trump install?
Traister: A throne.
Chait: Slot machines?
Hartmann: A presidential yacht.
Lowrey: An indoor waterfall. Real classy, biggest one on Earth. A little cave with a tiki bar underneath. Stocked only with Dom Pérignon. You have to swim into it, though.
Cogan: Definitely some classy/fabulous TRUMP signs. All of these updates sound like improvements, to be honest.
Traister: I would think he’d put the sign on the top of the White House in gold. Also, some sort of private zoo.
Chait: With political prisoners mixed in with animals.
Levitz: He would save money on administration by replacing the White House staff with guest workers.
Sherman: Does Trump even live in the White House? I think he’d find D.C. deathly boring.
Lowrey: Maybe he’d live in the hotel he’s building next door. Trump would go out less than the Obamas. Less of a foodie. Every state dinner would be meatloaf.
Traister: Yeah, I don’t think he cares about food. Or, allow me to say it, actual experiences of pleasure. I see him as a guy who cares much more about accrual.
Kilgore: Trump’s closest analogue, Ah-nold, never lived in the governor’s mansion in California, if I’m not mistaken.
Browne: He might just close the White House, convince America he’s doing it to save money for the average Joe.
Williams: Trump has used leverage skillfully at various points in the campaign, particularly versus Fox News. How do you imagine him negotiating with foreign governments? Does Trump actually have some extra deal-making prowess that could help America?
Lowrey: There’s rhetoric and there’s action. My guess is the rhetoric is banana-pants, and the action is nil. My guess is he offends a lot of other countries and the poor civil servants at the State Department work overtime.
Browne: Nope. He’s prom king, not class president.
Traister: He was a bad businessman, no? Why do we believe that he’s so good at deals? Isn’t that a performance, not a reality?
Lowrey: Yes, it’s performance art.
Sherman: No, he actually pulled off some amazing deals. At the depths of his bankruptcy, he was completely broke. I talked to a friend who was with him during those negotiations and he’d actually taken on so much debt that he forced the banks to blink.
Traister: Gabe: Wait, is this supposed to be reassuring about his business acumen?
Sherman: No. But as a dealmaker, he’s good.
Cogan: I think he takes all of the baked-in advantages America has and poisons them with his rhetoric.
Kilgore: I have always observed that a reputation for insanity can be a source of leverage. But it doesn’t last long, absent actual insanity.
Williams: Does he get America into crazy wars via bellicosity?
Lowrey: There, again, I doubt he actually has the stomach for it. He’s not a neocon. Given how critical he’s been of Iraq? I don’t see it.
Chait: Crazy wars, as in, against a big country like Russia? No. But invade some tiny little country to boost his ratings? Sure. I’m thinking a Grenada-type invasion, Panama, that kind of thing. Not an occupation or a real war.
Cogan: I hope not, but I could definitely see it happening, and it is one of the absolute scariest things about his presidency. His temperament is so, so scary.
Levitz: I could see him turning a small snafu into a crisis through belligerent posturing. Like if he were president when Iran captured those sailors a couple months ago.
Traister: Right, Donald Trump is the living, breathing inverse of diplomacy.
Lowrey: Vanity might be his savior. Yell, but don’t invade. It’s never gone well.
Browne: I’m not even joking, I think he thinks of himself like presidents from films. And just wants to have one of those moments when the room is dark and quiet, waiting for his signal to launch something. And he waits like six seconds longer than expected, and that young guy is like, “President Trump, we need an answer” — and finally he’s like, “Do it.”
Williams: What level of public protest will there be against Trump if he’s president?
Chait: Well the midterms would not go well for the Republicans.
Lowrey: I think the left lurches left and activism intensifies. Look what Bush did for the left …
Sherman: The scale of the protests I think would be correlated to economics not bigotry.
Hartmann: I think many Americans would get used to the insanity. There is an enjoyable-watching-a-trainwreck factor, until Trump is rounding up one of your relatives.
Sherman: Also, in all this Trump mania, we forget how George W. Bush talked about getting foreign-policy ideas from God. That was pretty insane.
Chait: The straightest line to political power is showing up to vote every election, as opposed to every other election.
Kilgore: The midterms are an interesting question. It’s unclear whether 2010 and 2014 were primarily a backlash to a Dem presidency, or were based on some semi-permanent GOP advantage among the kind of people most likely to vote in midterms. Either way a Trump presidency could change everything.
Cogan: Exactly. I do think this would get the Obama coalition serious about showing up for down-ballot races.
Williams: How about the media’s relationship to Trump? What is covering a Trump presidency like?
Hartmann: Hard to cover him from the prison camps.
Chait: Like this.
Kilgore: Everything about Trump these days yells of someone who believes in Winning by Intimidation. Hard to imagine him failing to use the genuinely intimidating power of the presidency against individual media types.
Sherman: It would be amazing when it’s not terrifying. I go back to Trump’s tradition of talking to reporters. He would be possibly the most accessible president in history. But at the same time, he would be terrifying to journalists he doesn’t like.
Levitz: Imagine the unique access Breitbart will get. Would Trump even have a press secretary?
Sherman: At one point, there was a rule at Trump’s business that every single reporter should get their call returned. When I was a 24-year-old cub reporter, he would get on the phone with me. Trump only exists in a certain way as a media creation.
Browne: I think he’s much less interesting from a media standpoint as a president than as a campaigner. I just think he’s going to have less time at his disposal, because he’s actually the president, oh God, so there’s less time for antics.
Levitz: George W. found time to golf. Donald will find time to tweet.
Cogan: Oh, I think for him the campaign is the presidency, and the presidency is the campaign. He’ll keep campaigning because it’s a kind of showmanship, and that’s what he’s in this for.
Sherman: I agree with Marin. Trump needs the press. He’d be ridiculously bored just sitting in meetings. He’d put a camera in the situation room and strike a deal with NBC.
Williams: What do you think he would find most surprising about being president?
Cogan: That he can’t just demand things and get them exactly as he wants them. That there are reasons change comes slowly to Washington.
Chait: Are we 100 percent sure he really wants this job? I’m not. Over 50 percent, yes.
Browne: I still think he’s going to fake his death a week before the election.
Chait: That’s what i’m getting at, Rembert. Would he just drop out over some pretext? I could see it.
Lowrey: I feel like the idea that he secretly doesn’t want to be president is a little out there at this point. What in his behavior suggests he doesn’t?
Browne: He won’t let himself lose, but I still don’t think he wants the job. The reality show, to some extent, isn’t as fun when you actually have a job.
Hartmann: I don’t think he’d enjoy being president at all, but how could he give up the prestige that comes with it?
Williams: How scared of a Trump presidency are you?
Lowrey: Excited and entertained and scared shitless.
Chait: Not scared. Do not think he can beat Clinton. Probably not even with a recession.
Hartmann: Agreed. I have faith that HRC will save America (and get no credit for it).
Browne: Not scared of Trump. Scared of people that love Trump. He’s a cult leader and it’s scary.
Hartmann: Agree with Rembert. I’m more afraid of Trump supporters becoming politically active.
Cogan: I am. We’ve all been a little flip in this — and I get why, because he’s running as a joke! But I can see him beating Clinton. He’s such a natural campaigner and she’s such a technocrat. And outside of the realm of what he can legally do, it does seem like it would set a very bad precedent for minorities, and women, and the press. So yeah, it seems like it’s time to be a little bit scared.
Kilgore: Not that scared that he’ll win. Quite scared — sorta like the way paranoid conservatives are about Obama — at the prospect of what he could do with executive powers if he did win.
Chait: If he’s president, I think the system will swallow him up.
Lowrey: Yeah, if he’s president, my guess is that he gets less done than one would imagine. The republican party would die, and it would still be a nightmare.
Sherman: Very. His talents as a communicator and his unpredictability are terrifying if he gets that much power.
Hartmann: I don’t think he’d personally get much done, but he’d create a culture where it’s acceptable to push racist, sexist, insane policies.
Cogan: It’s about more than what he gets done from a policy standpoint, though. It’s also about the squishier stuff — the tone he sets for the debate in this country and the image he presents to the world. And I think he’d be terrible on both fronts.
Levitz: I don’t know that I find President Trump any scarier than President Rubio. Worth remembering how hard Trump would need to try in order to achieve a more disastrous presidency than “compassionate conservative” George W. Bush.
Browne: Trump/Duke 2016.
Traister: I am absolutely terrified in my bones of everything a Trump presidency would mean, especially that if he gains the White House it will be on a platform of enthusiastic hatred and bias. I also agree with Margaret that we’re approaching the moment at which Hillary Clinton will be all there is between us and President Trump. That is both horribly perfect and perfectly horrible.