Trump gets a riotously good opening

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On the roster: Trump gets a riotously good opening - Substitutions: Shakeup on Trump transition team? - Reid goes full freak out on Trump win - I’ll Tell You What: Later, gators! - Get your swirl on

Donald Trump
could hardly have asked for a better victory gift than the protests that have choked the streets of some of America’s most Democratic cities.

Riots over the president-elect seem rather out of place in Oakland, Calif. and Portland Ore., the counties of which went 78 percent and 73 percent respectively for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Flash mobs, though, are presumably easier to get together in those places than in Kenosha, Wisc. or Erie, Pa., which actually flipped from blue to red and helped deliver the election to Trump.

In Kenosha, days of rage only happen when Frank’s Diner runs out of the Hungarian mushroom soup before 1 o’clock. No paprika, no peace.

But explaining the Electoral College to people chanting “this is what democracy looks like” to protest an election seems rather a waste of time.

And Trump should hope that American civics remains their short suit for as long as possible. These nightly spasms have been a great help in not just unifying Republicans, but in keeping Democrats on their best behavior.

Aside from living down to Trump’s depiction of his critics, the flag burning and vandalism has actually forced Democrats farther into a posture of greater magnanimity.

Clinton and President Obama have been perfectly gracious about a defeat that not only stunned them but also probably horrifies them. Good on them. But as other Democrats consider the proper responses to the dawn of the Trump era, the misconduct of the protesters is a limiting reagent on their outrage.

And Republicans ought to be a little circumspect about their indignation at the protests. Imagine if the reverse scenario was true and Trump had won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote. One doubts that that outcome would have gone down like a dish of French vanilla among Trump’s die-hards.

Even more so than the few Republicans who made Obama’s way easier by wishing him ill after the 2008 elections, these protesters are making life better for Trump. Republicans are rallying ‘round, and Democrats, who find themselves at their lowest ebb since at least 1988, have to suck it up and support the president-elect.

For now…

The test comes next week when actual people are named to actual positions in the administration. Remember, the honeymoon only lasts until the couple sets up housekeeping.

Trump’s administration will necessarily be some hybrid of insiders and outsiders. But which ones and for which posts will matter a great deal in determining the length of this era of good feelings.

Trump has to honor the core supporters who vaulted him into the history books, and can do so with some career politicians who have been with him all along: Sen. Jeff Sessions, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, all of whom have earned top spots.

A true outsider or two would also help. Names knocking around include billionaire Peter Theil and several of Trump’s finance-sector friends.

But Trump also ought to consider stocking up on some olive branches with establishmentarian Republicans and maybe even some Democrats for key positions. Kelly Ayotte or Jim Webb for Defense secretary would send good signals about the inclusiveness of the administration.

If Trump can pull off appointments that show the right signs, he could consolidate many of the gains he has made in the current protest-infused honeymoon.

“It will readily be comprehended, that a man who had himself the sole disposition of offices, would be governed much more by his private inclinations and interests, than when he was bound to submit the propriety of his choice to the discussion and determination of a different and independent body, and that body an entire branch of the legislature.”– Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 76

Veterans Day celebrates those who fought and sacrificed for this country, but some have returned home to continue serving in a different kind of way. Sharon A. Graham, director of the Seminole and Brevard County Guardian ad Litem program, which helps children in need, explains: “The Seminole Guardian ad Litem program celebrates the men and woman who have served our country in the armed forces, and also gives a special shout-out to those who have returned home to volunteer as advocates for abused and neglected children. One guardian, a former medic in the Marines, mentored a teen as the young man transitioned to adulthood. He also has never shirked when asked to take children coping with rage and delinquency issues. Another is a steely Army veteran, who takes some of our toughest cases; she specializes in obtaining valuable but hard-to-get information, identifying issues, collaborating with professionals, and working with families to meet the needs of the children she serves.”

Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions

NYT: “Steve Bannon, the conservative provocateur and Mr. Trump’s campaign chief, is now a leading candidate to become White House chief of staff, but he’d have to beat out another campaign veteran in the running, Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. … But Mr. Priebus is said to be viewed favorably by two people especially close to Mr. Trump: his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared KushnerCorey Lewandowski, Mr. Trump’s first campaign manager, has also been mentioned for chief of staff, despite having been fired by the campaign in June. But Mr. Trump’s children, who feuded publicly with him during the campaign, may resist. Two other names being discussed: Kellyanne Conway, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, and David Bossie, a veteran conservative operative who became Mr. Trump’s deputy campaign manager.”

New head of the transition team? - USA Today: “Billionaire Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel has agreed to join Donald J. Trump’s presidential transition team, according to a published report. Multiple sources told former Fortune magazine reporter Dan Primack that Thiel, a Facebook board member who was a Trump delegate and spoke at the Republican National Convention, would join the team. They did not comment on an earlier Huffington Post report that he would lead it, replacing Chris Christie, wrote Primack in a LinkedIn post.”

Immigration hardliner set to join - LAT: “One of the architects of several of the nation’s most controversial immigration laws is set to join President-elect Donald Trump’s immigration policy transition team. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Thursday that he planned to help Trump reverse President Obama's immigration policies… Kobach said, ‘There’s no question the wall is going to get built. The only question is how quickly will it get done and who pays for it.’”

Trump transition includes lots of Bushies, lobbyists - Politico: “Top members of his transition team with ties to both Bushes include Kay Cole James, director of the Office of Personnel Management for the younger Bush; William Hagerty, an economic adviser to the elder Bush and player on Romney’s transition team; and Jamie Burke, a White House liaison to Health and Human Services for the younger Bush who also served on Romney’s transition. There’s also Ado Machida, a top domestic policy aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney; David Bernhardt, Interior Department solicitor, and James F. Manning, a senior Education official, both for the younger Bush; and Ken Blackwell, undersecretary at Housing and Urban Development, and David Malpass, deputy assistant secretary of state, both for the elder Bush.”

Looking to settle fraud suit against him over Trump U. - AP: “Donald Trump's attorney told a federal judge Thursday he's open to settlement talks in a class-action fraud lawsuit involving the president-elect and his now-defunct Trump University. Attorney Daniel Petrocelli also asked during a hearing that the trial be delayed until early next year because Trump needs time to work on the transition to the presidency. The lawsuit alleging Trump University failed on its promise to teach success in real estate is currently set to begin Nov. 28 in San Diego.”

[Trump transition team launches Twitter, webpage with administration details.]

David Drucker
writes: “Conservative groups are poised to lose power in Washington with the arrival of President-elect Donald Trump. The powerful advocacy organizations have leveraged their influence over rank-and-file Republicans in Congress to block President Obama’s agenda and stymie GOP leaders’ attempt at compromise. They’re preparing to lose more battles under Trump, a populist who de-emphasized the importance of conservative ideology during his presidential campaign.”

[The indispensable Matt Labash says grace over the 2016 election - Weekly Standard]

USA Today: “Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid unleashed a bitter condemnation of President-elect Donald Trump on Friday, blasting him as a ‘sexual predator’ who ‘fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate.’ …The Nevada Democrat was an outspoken critic of Trump throughout the long presidential campaign, but his continuing vitriol toward Trump stands in contrast to most Democratic leaders, who have been trying to offer a conciliatory note in the wake of Tuesday's election results. Trump met with President Obama and congressional leaders Thursday and tried to offer a reassuring message of his own about the peaceful transition of power and his willingness to work with past critics.”

[Clinton aides are developing a new registry of deplorables. Politico reports the media, sexism and FBI director James Comey are the villains in their narrative.]

Dems promise ‘total’ war over ObamaCare - Politico: “Shell-shocked Democrats on Capitol Hill are preparing to make a fight for Obamacare their top priority in the opening days of the Trump administration, with leading advocacy groups ready to wage ‘total war’ to defend President Barack Obama’s universal health care program and his domestic policy legacy.”

And the battle for party chairmanship is on - Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is throwing his support behind Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., for chairmanship: “The Minnesota congressman has been angling for the job, working back channels to position himself as a strong candidate to run the DNC. Ellison, a Sanders supporter when the Vermont senator ran for president, has previously discussed being DNC chair with Sanders.”

Blast from the past - The Hill: “Howard Dean announced Thursday that he will run to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee for a second time. ‘The dems need organization and focus on the young. Need a fifty State strategy and tech rehab. I am in for chairman again,’ Dean tweeted Thursday afternoon. Dean, a former Vermont governor, served as DNC chair from 2005 to 2009. In an interview with Bloomberg Politics, Dean said the party needs to be ‘rebuilt from the ground up.’”

[HuffPo reports that Interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile was screamed at during a speech about how to move forward from the election when a staffer reportedly had an outburst and blamed Brazile for the loss. The staffer then left the room, says HuffPo.]

Well, that was an interesting eight weeks! Yes, that’s right, it’s time for the final episode of “Perino & Stirewalt: I’ll Tell You What.” The duo that got you through the election has one final show: this Saturday at 5 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Dana and Chris and a top-tier panel of sleep deprived smart people put the election in perspective. But don’t worry, the podcast that inspired the show will keep on trucking.

The first Sunday after the election and Fox News has all the guests you want to break down the shocking results. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., joins Mr. Sunday as the GOP prepares to take over Washington. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.

#mediabuzz - Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.

“Let’s jump up and work with him. Let’s make that happen.” – Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on working with Donald Trump on policies she agrees with like minimum wage and family leave.

“I had a question with regard to what polling universes (methodologies) were used in 2000/2004 vs. 2016? From what I have read, been told, and in the aftermath of this year’s election cycle, 2016 used 2008 and 2012 polling universes....and as a result are seemingly unique to President Obama turn-out driven phenomenons. More specifically, what were the metric polling shares for white vs. non-white, millennial vs. non-millennial and rural vs. suburban vs. urban polling percentages used in those years as compared to this year? (with the increase of decline to state and independent voters, I don’t believe Democrat vs. Republican is relevant anymore) This would be interesting analysis for us political junkies. Has President-elect Trump created a new polling metric? Is President Obama’s polling universe only unique to him? Or have we gone back to politics as usual?” – Ted Stelle, Costa Mesa, Calif.

[Ed. note: Smart questions, Mr. Stelle! As we have discussed, every poll reflects a set of assumptions on the part of pollsters. Using past election results, Census data and some hunches based on voter trends, pollsters weight their samples based the expected composition of the electorate: how white, how Hispanic, how rich, how poor, etc. As it turns out, the national polls were fairly good at their work. While they overstated Clinton’s popular vote win by, in the case of the Fox News poll, about 2 points, the overall assumptions proved correct. There was much to be desired in some state polls on the question of demographic assumptions, but the problem for pollsters there had more to do with voter behavior than demography. In the upper Midwest voter turnout collapsed from 2012, with more than 130,000 fewer voters in Wisconsin alone. In North Carolina, conversely, turnout was sky high with more than 183,000 additional – mostly Republican – ballots cast than four years before. It looks like we have had two demographically scrambling presidential winners in a row. Predicting the composition of our American electoral quilt on the state level is going to be a doozy for 2020!.]

“Just thought I would share that it was because of your lovely piece on Election Day that I changed my mind and decided to vote.  I had stopped by the polling place and found lines of about an hour or more and it being a beautiful sunny day, I left and went for a long walk instead. It was not an election day I was excited about. When I got home, I read your piece which moved me so much that I went back to the polling place, found no more lines, and did my civic duty. Thank you for re-awakening in me my responsibility and privilege. I always enjoy your work and look forward to the next one!” – Carol Miklos, Bridgeport, Conn.

[Ed. note: Hooray, Ms. Miklos! I’m glad we were able to help. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s wonderful to hear.]

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

CBC: “…Jeremy, whose extremely rare, left-spiralling shell ruled out the possibility of mating with most other snails. As Angus Davison, the professor of evolutionary genetics we spoke to at the time put it, ‘Essentially, their bits are in the wrong position.’ Jeremy the snail has found a potential mate named ‘Lefty.’ ‘I found him crawling up a tree in my partner’s garden,’ Jade Melton tells As It Happens host Carol Off…Her snail, Lefty, has the same left-aligned anatomy as Jeremy…’They’ve not actually psychically mated yet, but they had some flirting encounters last night which was a positive sign,’ Melton explains. ‘They just touch each other gently with their tentacles, their eye stocks, and they will kind of caress each other for a while. It is very sweet, but with snails it’s always a slow process.’”

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.