Wisconsin helps put Trump in White House

Wisconsin helps put Trump in White House

Priebus said to be ‘inside favorite’ for White House chief of staff

Strange new world, no?

Donald Trump has won the presidency, stunning everybody — probably even himself. And it looks like Wisconsin put him over the top, also to the surprise of all.

I’m looking at the Washington Post’s election map at 9 a.m., and Trump has 276 electoral votes, six more than he needs to win. Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, Arizona and Alaska are still undecided, and all but Minnesota are leaning Trump, so in the end he would have won without Wisconsin’s 10 votes. But right now, it’s us ensuring his victory.

The other piece of Wisconsin news from the national election — besides the upset re-election of Sen. Ron Johnson — is a report by Time Magazine that Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman who’s a Wisconsin native, is “the inside favorite” for a job as Trump’s White House chief of staff.

As for interpretation of the results, the Post has a story headlined “Democrats’ one-word answer to their horrible night: Comey.” The story actually debunks the idea that FBI director James Comey’s letter to Congress, 11 days before election day, about his agency looking into a new trove of Hillary Clinton emails, swung the election to her opponent. But you have to think the words “Anthony Weiner,” “sexting” and “15-year-old” didn’t help.

The New York Times has a story about world markets reacting with alarm to our election results, but the downward spike reversed itself to some extent when the president-elect gave a conciliatory victory speech that gave props to his opponent and promised good relations with all citizens and other countries. He spent as much time in the speech thanking supporters, including his family, as talking about his coming presidency. And he called Priebus up to the stage for a bow. But Trump appeared to forget until the end to mention his running mate, Mike Pence, who was standing right behind him.

As Trump and his family left the stage after the speech, the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” began playing in the auditorium. He played that song at the end of the GOP convention in Cleveland, too, to the puzzlement of some and the consternation of the Stones. We’ll see before long if a President Trump is what we need.

But Wisconsin Republicans certainly think it is what we need. Sen. Johnson and Gov. Scott Walker were both on Charlie Sykes’ talk show this morning on WTMJ radio, and both talked about the opportunity their party has to accomplish things in the coming four years, with both houses of Congress and the presidency all under control — just as Wisconsin’s government is.

Walker said the national party should “look to Wisconsin. Look to what we did six years ago, to take on big bold reforms.”





Tom Tolan is managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine, where he's worked since January 2016. He spent 24 years at The Milwaukee Journal and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a copy editor, assistant metro editor and reporter. He lives in Shorewood.