Eight years on, it hasn't really changed much. The lefties on my social media feed are filling their pages with soft-focus pictures of their hero; others have turned their profile pictures to solid black, as though the dawning of Trump is the End of Days. So yeah, it's a cult of personality. My fear is, for at least some of his supporters, the incoming president is just a different flavor (orange whip?) of the same thing. But we'll have at least four years to explore that question. And so will the Democrats:
As Trump takes over the GOP and starts remaking its new identity as a nationalist, populist party, creating a new political pole in American politics for the first time in generations, all eyes are on the Democrats. How will they confront a suddenly awakened, and galvanized, white majority? What’s to stop Trump from doing whatever he wants? Who’s going to pull a coherent new vision together? Worried liberals are watching with trepidation, fearful that Trump is just the beginning of worse to come, desperate for a comeback strategy that can work.I dispute whether all eyes are on the Democrats, but we'll leave that aside. The piece I've linked, written by Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico, is quite good, because it gets into the true legacy of the man leaving the stage; the party Barack Obama has helmed for the past eight years is truly in desperate straits. You'll want to pack a lunch, but it's a smartly reported piece and worth your time.
What’s clear from interviews with several dozen top Democratic politicians and operatives at all levels, however, is that there is no comeback strategy—just a collection of half-formed ideas, all of them challenged by reality. And for whatever scheme they come up with, Democrats don’t even have a flag-carrier. Barack Obama? He doesn’t want the job. Hillary Clinton? Too damaged. Bernie Sanders? Too socialist. Joe Biden? Too tied to Obama. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer? Too Washington. Elizabeth Warren? Maybe. And all of them old, old, old.