There's no joy at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. They never planned for this. In their arrogance and hubris, they were sure that it could never happen. And then it did.
There is no plan at the White House.
They also never thought this could or would happen.
Obama said for months on the campaign trail that he’d consider Donald Trump’s election a personal repudiation. And it was. The Senate and House results leave no question, as if there could be one.
A reality has slipped through their fingers. Four more years of a Democrat in the White House would make much of how Obama reshaped the government irreversible. A woman following a black man would drive home how there was no turning back to the old ways. Filling that Supreme Court seat would cement it for a generation.
But you can see the lack of preparedness in Obama's stumbling awkward statement this morning. His pregnant pauses at key points. His difficultly even pronouncing "President Elect Trump". There really was no plan for the impossible.
President Barack Obama and aides are keeping smiles on their faces, but a sense of doom has descended on the White House.
Doom! Freak out!
But the freak-out has been kept in check – in public, at least. Obama stood calmly on Wednesday afternoon promising a smooth transition, coolly urging supporters and disappointed voters to nurse their wounds and get back into the arena.
The world order has been shaken. Everything that everyone thought they knew about politics is wrong
The slaves are rebelling. This was not supposed to happen.
Obama, watching the returns come in from the White House residence until late into the night, was stunned and disappointed, Earnest said.
Shoe. Other foot.
The plan was for Obama to stay in Washington for at least two years, moving to a house a few miles away while his younger daughter finished high school. Either that plan will change, or that home will likely become the base of a government in exile...
What about Elba?
And there will no doubt be renewed calls in some quarters for Michelle Obama, who could run though her husband constitutionally cannot, to look at 2020 as the saving grace.
Sure. She's as qualified as Hillary. And about as likable. When in doubt, double down on dynasty.
The White House staffers who massed into the Rose Garden to hear some kind of comfort or explanation cried and hugged, the shock running through their bodies.
Meanwhile the darkness sweeps in.
For President Barack Obama, Donald Trump's presidential victory is nothing less than a nightmare.
His longstanding vision for progressive change faced sharp and unexpected repudiation Tuesday night from voters still fuming at their perceived diminished prospects. By Obama's own admission, the major pieces of his presidential legacy are now subject to a gutting by a successor he resents deeply.