It was a historic win in several ways, and President Trump is already delivering on his promise to shake things up in Washington.
WASHINGTON– When he rode down a gold escalator with his supermodel wife at his side to declare his bid for the presidency, nobody took him seriously. After a verbal spat with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly at the first GOP debate, nobody took him seriously. And midway through the primaries – still, nobody took him seriously.
But Donald J. Trump, the spray-tanned New York real-estate magnate with a billion-dollar business portfolio, outlasted them all – even the “inevitable” first female president, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Instead, we got the first president-elect to have a female campaign manager.
It was a historic win in several ways, and the man is already delivering on his promise to shake things up in Washington. Here are five reasons that Trump’s win will go down as one of the most-talked about events in American history:
He is the oldest president ever elected
1) Although he displayed an inordinate amount of energy and bluster on the campaign trail, Trump is still 70 years old – a year older than the previous president who held that honor, Ronald Reagan (69).
To put that into perspective, the age of both men is greater at the time of their election than those presidents who have died in office of natural causes: Zachary Taylor (65), William Henry Harrison (68), Warren G. Harding (57) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (63).
If Trump were elected to a second term, he would leave office when he’s nearly 80 years old.
His portfolio includes hundreds of companies across the world
2) Trump’s business portfolio, which Forbes estimates is worth $3.7 billion, is unprecedented for a U.S. president. The only candidate to run who even comes close is Ross Perot, a fellow billionaire and third-party candidate who captured 19 percent of the vote in 1992 after promising to end the outsourcing of American jobs.
Critics fear that if Trump does not relinquish control of his private holdings, it will be hard for him as president to act in the public good. Federal law doesn’t require Trump to separate himself from his business holdings, but ethics lawyers who have advised both Republican and Democratic presidents have called on Trump to do so, CNN reported in December.
He’s the only president-elect who refused to release his taxes
3) Since it became tradition in the 1970s, every candidate to run for the nation’s highest office has released his or her tax returns with the exception of Trump. Many are unlikely to forget his pledge that when his “routine audit” winds down, his taxes will become public.
But with his election to the presidency those IRS audits are likely to continue. And, speaking of taxes, Trump intends to simplify the code while cutting $25 trillion in government spending.
His children are primed to be major players in Washington
4) It’s not unprecedented for a president to bring on his children in an important role: John Adams appointed John Quincy Adams to be his secretary in Europe, Theodore Roosevelt dispatched his daughter Alice to Asia on an important diplomatic trip, and George H.W. Bush threw his weight behind his son’s political ambition to help keep the White House in the family.
But deep involvement of Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner – who are reportedly considering a move to Washington even ahead of first lady Melania – have critics warning of a future nation being run like a second-rate “banana republic.” Sons Eric and Donald Jr., both executives at the Trump Organization, could also potentially get top-secret clearance.
He won the White House but lost the popular vote by a record margin
5) You can count this among Trump’s records: He won the presidency, but lost the popular vote by 2.8 million voters. That’s about five times the number of the next president who won the presidency despite losing the popular vote: George W. Bush.
In total, five men own the dubious honor of having been elected president with fewer votes than his opponent: John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford Hayes (1876), Benjamin Harrison (1888), Bush (2000) and Trump (2016).
He’s the only president to have never served in government
6) While Trump made his billions by reshaping city skylines, many other men made their claim to fame through military endeavors and public service. None of them will hold the title of 45th President of the United States, however – that is Trump’s and his alone.
While this makes him a historic figure, he does join five other men in the presidential lineage who had never held elected office: former Secretary of War (and later, Chief Justice) William Taft; former war heroes Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower; and former Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover.
Although his World War II heroics led Eisenhower to become popular among Americans, the others were divisive presidents elected during times of national crises.