Everyone said it wouldn’t happen. Everyone was wrong.
Donald Trump pulled off one of the most unlikely electoral coups of modern times this week, toppling the political andmedia establishment to become the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
His domination of the primary season, which effectively ended Wednesday when Ohio Gov. John Kasich dropped the last remaining challenge to Trump, was unthinkable just weeks ago when the political conversation still centered on the potential of a contested convention.
But a campaign initially dismissed as a joke confounded the pundits to such a degree that all bets are off about how the rest of the 2016 campaign might unfold.
Even Trump himself seemed surprised by the swiftness at which he locked down the nomination.
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday, Trump said he expected Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton to finish her primary campaign before him.Thought I’d be going longer'”I’m even surprised,” Trump said.
“I thought I’d be going longer, she’d be going shorter.”
But the grind of presidential politics leaves no time for savoring victory.
In his first full day as the presumptive nominee, Trump’s campaign had to quickly shift gears from a primary fight to a search for a running mate.
Meanwhile, Trump faces a host of new questions about his prospects against Clinton in the fall, including whether his unorthodox approach to winning the GOP primary will translate into a general election battle against one of the biggest names in politics.
“It is a big challenge but he has already defied every single thing of political gravity that we have known,”
said Mike Shields, former Chief of Staff for the Republican National Committee.
“Who’s to say that he can’t do all of these things and then some,”
Shields said on CNN’s “New Day.”