Donald Trump had a big reason to smile when he faced the media in the large, ornate room within the confines of his exclusive Mar-a-Lago resort, Palm Beach on Tuesday night. As the Super Tuesday results poured in, with Trump reportedly winning the polls in at least seven states, the real estate mogul began to realize the materialization of his presidential dream. For the first time, perhaps, even Donald Trump could afford to take himself seriously.
Trump scored victories Tuesday in Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and even in Vermont and Massachusetts, states which have a relatively high population of moderates. As Donald Trump underlined in his victory speech, he has managed to unify the GOP field like no other candidate and channel the anti-establishment sentiment among independents into votes that appear set to propel him towards winning the Republican party nomination come July.
“The Republicans have tremendous energy. The Democrats don’t,” Trump said elatedly during the victory party, and he had evidence to back that claim. According to Washington Times, some states saw a very high turnout among Republican voters, with turnouts in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada increasing by 27 percent compared to 2012.
By contrast, turnout among Democrat voters is down by 25 percent compared to their record-setting 2008 campaign, when current front-runner Hillary Clinton was pitted against Barack Obama.
The Super Tuesday results also provided the clearest hint yet that the general election is going to be a race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Although several political analysts had envisioned such a race as early as last year, the sudden emergence of Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side and the resurgence of Ted Cruz on the Republican side had provided a counter-point to that narrative. But by most accounts, it would probably be safe to assume that Trump and Clinton will face-off each other in the presidential race later this year.
Which is not to put down Bernie Sanders, or even Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, but it looks increasingly improbable that these candidates will be able to muster a nomination from their respective parties come July.
It was no surprise, then, that Donald Trump took a swipe at Hillary Clinton in his victory speech, clearly hinting that he has already started to acknowledge Hillary as his main rival.
“‘Make America great again’ is going to be much better than ‘Make America whole again,'” Trump said, explicitly in response to one of Clinton’s new applause lines, which she had earlier used in the evening during her victory speech.
It is entirely possible that Trump might be looking too far ahead already. Although Ted Cruz gave a rallying call to all conservatives to unite against Donald Trump — in effect asking his Republican rivals to withdraw their presidential campaigns — Trump and his supporters are undoubtedly setting their eyes on White House already, a prospect Trump’s detractors are not completely oblivious to.
But while that is not completely unexpected — Trump has made a habit to look too far ahead — what is increasingly palpable is that Trump’s supporters are already beginning to see him as the next president of the United States. During a much-publicized and spirited discussion on CNN between Trump’s supporter Jeffrey Lord and political commentator Van Jones, Lord went so far as to suggest that Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group that Trump has never explicitly disavowed, killed African-Americans “to further the progressive agenda.”
You can watch the entire video above, courtesy of CNN.
In fact, before Trump took the center-stage in his exclusive Mar-a-Lago resort, Chris Christie stepped up to the lectern, in his new role as Trump’s endorser, and introduced Donald Trump as the next president of the United States, according to the New Yorker. “Ladies and gentlemen,” Christie said, “let me introduce you to the next President of the United States, Donald Trump.”
On his part, as his victory speech demonstrated, Trump wants to make America “great” by making it function like his company, which has “thousands of happy employees all over the world.”
For Trump, it seems running a company and a country are quite the same thing. With a leader whose vision is so narrow as to compare a multi-billion dollar company to an extremely rich, multi-faceted, and pluralistic society at its helm, America will certainly not be in safe hands under Donald Trump.
But his supporters won’t mind that one bit — they would rather celebrate already.
[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]