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23 Nov 2017 14:35
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  •   Home > News > International

    Donald Trump: One year since the election and we're still in overdrive

    For the ABC's Washington Bureau Chief Zoe Daniel, election day in 2016 lasted several days. A year later, and everything is still in overdrive.

    Happy Anniversary.

    It's a year since Donald Trump won the election.

    I know.

    This time in 2016 our bureau was in overdrive after a year following the campaign, criss-crossing the country to primaries and caucuses, debates and conventions, visiting big cities and small towns ahead of a political rollercoaster ride into the election itself.

    Election day, for us, lasted several days as we worked around the clock to cover the vote, the results and the aftermath.

    The day after Donald Trump's victory, after about 90 minutes of sleep, I found myself in Pittsburgh attending celebrations with his supporters and recording their reactions to his victory, which for them, was not unexpected.

    And, all of a sudden, we're 12 months into the Trump administration, and still in overdrive.


    Check out the year in push alerts by Slate. Scary.

    This week has provided an opportunity for reflection — in more ways than one.

    President Trump shared this celebratory tweet to mark the occasion while in Asia:

    And Vice President Mike Pence wrote an op-ed in USA Today saying it's been "a year of accomplishments".

    Depends on your perspective, but there's been plenty going on that's for sure.

    Speaking of the Asia trip, here's a summary in tweets:

    You're welcome.

    Now back to Election Tuesday

    There were a series of statewide and local contests across America.

    The biggest of those was the race to become Virginia's next Governor.

    It was a race stacked in Democrat Ralph Northam's favour: his campaign had more money, history favoured the candidate from the party not in the White House and Donald Trump remains deeply unpopular in the state.

    However, Larry Sabato, a political analyst who knows Virginia like the back of his hand, warned pundits not to underplay the victory either:

    So, Ralph Northam's win was not a huge surprise. However, the margin of victory has sent shudders down the spines of Republicans across the country.

    The loss has been dubbed a "canary in a coal mine" for Republicans, others say President Trump is a "pariah" for GOP hopefuls moving forward.

    The President tweeted too — asserting that Republican Ed Gillespie lost because he distanced himself from the administration (he did do that):

    However here's former head of the RNC, Michael Steele:


    This week, two more Republicans announced they won't contest the 2018 midterms: Texas Congressman Ted Poe and Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte.

    Virginia also saw some interesting new faces elected.

    First, there was Danica Roem, the first openly transgender person to be elected to a state legislature in America. She beat out the author of a bill who wanted to restrict access to bathrooms for transgender people.

    While many are calling it a victory for minorities, she ran a grassroots campaign on local issues — specifically a local road. When asked about the significance of her victory she said, "It will be historic when a transgender woman finally helps fix Route 28."

    The other notable victor was Chris Hurst, the former partner of Allison Parker, a TV reporter who was shot and killed live on air back in 2015. He ran a campaign, in part, on reducing gun violence.

    His election was a reminder of one of the horrible, yet defining elements of life in America

    Another mass shooting at a church in Texas left 26 dead and around 20 injured this week.

    America moved on very quickly as the ever shortening news cycle and ever increasing tragedy fatigue reduce the attention that these deadly events receive.

    At the same time, Steve Scalise, the Republican House Whip who was shot and nearly died at a congressional baseball training earlier this year, awarded medals of honour to the police officers who responded when a gunman attacked.

    His emotional speech was a fitting tribute. He also compared his private security detail to the efforts by locals in Texas who shot and chased the shooter.

    Earlier in the week, Scalise had challenged 87-year-old Texas Republican Sam Johnson to a scooter race around the Capitol:

    There's been no discussion about changing gun laws since the Las Vegas massacre five weeks ago. Even the debate about restrictions on rifle modifying bumpstocks has died off.

    However, next week is shaping up to be another busy one on Capitol Hill

    There are hearings about firearm regulations, the President's use of nuclear weapons, and Jeff Sessions will face the House Judiciary Committee on issues facing the Justice Department (including Russia).

    Speaking of Russia... Let me introduce you to CNN's new Russia tracker. It has everything.

    This week's most exciting development was the stunning 243-page transcript from former Trump foreign policy advisor Carter Page.

    The focus of the testimony centres on a trip Page made to Russia in July 2016, where he made a commencement speech at the New Economic School in Moscow.

    The speech was made just weeks before Donald Trump accepted the nomination (Page stressed that the trip was made in a capacity independent to the Trump campaign) and is surely part of Robert Mueller's investigation as well.

    The highlights include Page bragging about his frequent flier points with Delta:

    And the fact that he went to Russia — although it was controversial — because he was "trying to live my life".

    By the numbers

    Thirty-six per cent — that's Donald Trump's approval rating a year since he won, according to a new CNN/ Gallop poll. How does that compare to former Presidents at the same mark? George W Bush was 87 per cent, Nixon was 67 per cent and Obama 54 per cent.

    Where's Obama?

    Well, he reported for jury duty in Chicago, much to the delight of fellow jurors:

    Spoiler: he didn't get picked.

    What I'm reading:

    Next week; Donald Trump returns from Asia.

    Until then.

    © 2017 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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