It’s been a year since Donald Trump won the US presidential election.
His victory marked the end of one of the most ugly presidential races in America, between Trump and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
Reporting from the candidates’ headquarters in New York, Euronews’ Stefan Grobe and Mark Davis gave us their analysis of events as the election unfolded.
“I will be president for all Americans,” Trump told the cheering crowd of supporters.
A year on, while his approval ratings are at a record low, support among core followers remains rock solid: 98 per cent of Trump voters still approved of him.
The anniversary was a chance for Mark and Stefan, from Euronews’ Lyon headquarters and Brussels’ offices respectively, to hook up again and take stock.
Stefan Grobe: “Well, Mark, that was quite a remarkable night exactly one year ago in New York, and you haven’t gotten any older I must say! I am not sure about myself. This has been an incredible year. Obviously, ‘President Trump’… I am still struggling sometimes getting used to that, but we have gotten used to so many things in the first year of the Trump presidency. What is your take? Did anything that came to your mind a year ago surprise you?
Mark Davis: “Most of us are starting to get used to these three words ‘President’, ‘Donald’ and ‘Trump’ together. We are perhaps having a little more difficulty getting used to his style of presidency. Donald Trump’s preferred organ of communication is still Twitter. And this is something we have never seen before from a US president. We have become used to the daily tirades, the morning tweets that give us quite an idea of the mood that Donald Trump is in on any given day. And yourself Stefan?”
Stefan Grobe: “I think he’s exhausting us with his tweets and his bombast. Now that I am in Brussels I’m hearing a lot of subdued talk, to put it mildly, among European leaders about the Trump administration. And my feeling is that in Europe people have settled on a policy of just wait him out. We don’t expect anything from him over the remaining three years. Just wait him out. Don’t try to educate him, don’t try to appease him. He is what he is and we have to deal with him.”
Mark Davis: “On the world stage I don’t think we should be surprised by anything that Donald Trump has done. He has done, he is trying to do what he promised his voters he would do, which is put America first. America acts unilaterally now rather than seeking to build coalitions and build partnerships. It takes itself out of international agreements, very important international agreements: there’s the Iran nuclear deal, there’s the Paris climate agreement…”
Stefan Grobe: “His leadership has left a void on the international stage that is now being filled by other players and China, interestingly, has become a very forceful advocate for climate change, for instance. China presents itself as the world leader, spear-heading international trade. It sounds odd, doesn’t it?!”
Mark Davis: “People have been comparing it to a reality show, to something like ‘House of Cards’. And certainly, in the first six months anyway, you look at the list of casualties in the Trump administration and it makes it look perhaps a little bit more like ‘The Walking Dead’ than ‘House of Cards’.
Stefan Grobe: “Would you want to cover the next presidential campaign?”
Mark Davis: “I would love to cover the 2020 election campaign! Especially if Donald Trump is involved in it, I think Donald Trump – whether you love him or you hate him – is always someone who you can talk about. There is never a dull moment with Donald Trump. Now, what I think is going to be key in the next election is the candidate that the Democrats choose to run against him. What Donald Trump can count on is his base. We know that there is a certain portion of the American electorate who will vote for Donald Trump no matter what he does. We know there is also, on the other side of the aisle, a significant portion of the American electorate who will vote for the opponent of Donald Trump no matter who he or she is. And what it will come down to are the people in the middle.”