Sunday 19 November 2017

Trump's first big test: to show moral authority and seek to build bridges

Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

Andrew Hammond

Donald Trump met Barack Obama at the White House yesterday after riding an anti-establishment wave to become president-elect in one of the biggest ever US political upsets. The election outcome has shown, yet again, how divided the country is. At a time of such rancour and discord, a critical question is how Mr Trump can now best seek to bring political conciliation to a country more divided than in living memory.

To his credit, Mr Trump has started better as president-elect than some expected, giving a speech on Wednesday in which he promised to govern for "all Americans" and "bind the wounds of division". He also promised a "project of national growth and renewal… in which nothing we want for our future is beyond reach".

His principal opponent Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote, performed significantly below expectations in the electoral college after most polls in previous days failed to appreciate the full extent of Mr Trump's surge in multiple key states from Ohio to Pennsylvania.

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