The election is over — so who are the winners and losers? As the Business Journal’s self-appointed seasoned political observer, here’s a list.
Donald Trump — That old Trumpian magic still works. He managed to collect $200 million or so from his adoring fans to contest the “rigged” election and forced a majority of House Republicans to sign on to an absurd lawsuit initiated by Texas’ attorney general. Don and Melania will head to Florida in January and enjoy great weather, good golf, the continued adulation of millions, limitless business opportunities and immense political power without responsibility. Have fun, Don — whether you deserve it or not.
John Hickenlooper — He’s never lost a Colorado election, and this one was probably his last. Joe Biden ought to sit down and talk to Hick, a successful governor who worked well with a split legislature. As a freshman senator who replaced a Republican incumbent, Hickenlooper has some clout. Colorado will benefit.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris — If they can preside over a competent, professional and drama-free administration, we can all breathe a sigh of relief and get on with our lives. Maybe we can give up partisan bickering, end-of-the-world hysteria from left and right and learn to ignore the 24-hour news cycle.
Black women — The most loyal subset of Democratic voters finally got the power and respect that they’ve long deserved. Will Harris succeed Biden in 2024? Seems likely.
Colorado — We’re well governed, prosperous and fun. Newly elected gun-toting Congresswoman Lauren Boebert will likely become the GOP’s AOC, while Gov. Jared Polis has shown America what competent governance during the pandemic looks like.
Mayor Pete — The amiable Pete Buttigieg will be a great transportation secretary. At 38, he has a bright future — and may look favorably upon funding for Front Range passenger rail.
Big Pharma — It looks as if those despised monopolists have come up with vaccines that will end this damned pandemic, thanks in part to billions of dollars in government support. Way to go, guys — and no, your taxes won’t be audited this year!
Donald Trump — Dude, you lost the election!
CNN, The New York Times, Fox News and The Wall Street Journal — Trump drove unprecedented audience growth for these, as well as for other media. Absent Trump, those audiences may seek other entertainment. What would King Lear, The Great Gatsby or the Blues Brothers be without their titular subjects? Joe and Jill are fine, but Don and Melania are a tough act to follow.
Congress — No more impeachment dramas, no more Nancy Pelosi/Mitch McConnell showdowns (depending on the January runoff elections in Georgia), no more national spotlight. The work of government will move forward. The shouters and screamers of both parties will be ignored, and the worker bees may actually get something done.
Trump staffers — The Washington lobbyists, law firms and nonprofits that traditionally absorb insiders from the previous administration won’t offer safe landings for ex-Trumpistas. They’ll head for Florida and Texas, and enjoy better weather, cheaper housing, no state income tax and no eccentric boss… maybe they’re winners!
Colorado Republicans (except Lauren Boebert) — When Doug Lamborn and Ken Buck are the faces of the Colorado GOP, that’s a problem. They eclipse thoughtful folks like Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman, our own Mayor John Suthers and dozens of other elected Republicans. Colorado thrives (as does the United States) with a center-right and center-left party. As the supermajority Dems trend left, Repubs need to become the centrist party, hopefully led by Colorado Springs. It’s our turn — only two Colorado governors have been Springs residents: Oliver Shoup (elected in 1919) and John Love (elected in 1963).
So here we are, with 33 days left in the Trump administration. One thing is certain — Biden’s masked, socially distanced and low-key inauguration will have fewer attendees than President Trump’s rumored superspreader wingding on the same day.
Rock on, Don — but you’re still a loser.