Democrats lick their wounds, Republicans see work to be done
WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheers and tears. Market whiplash. A glass ceiling not quite shattered. Calls to "lick our wounds."
Donald Trump's first day as president-elect was marked with conciliatory remarks from Democrats who joined him in a call for national unity and urged America's vindicated and despondent voters alike to ensure a peaceful and successful transition.
Meanwhile, Republicans maintained their grip on both the Senate and House, but acknowledged there is much work to be done.
A look at some of the moving parts the day after Election Day.
AND NOW, THE HARD PART
Trump is set to become America's 45th president. And now, the hard part.
The celebrity businessman and political novice, who capitalized on voters' economic anxieties, took advantage of racial tensions and overcame a string of sexual assault allegations on his way to the White House, claimed victory early Wednesday. He urged Americans to "come together as one united people."
As of midday Wednesday, the president-elect was nowhere to be seen and the typically buzzing lobby of Trump's residence and campaign headquarters was closed to the general public (although a clothed impersonator of the famous "Naked Cowboy" was at one point seen strolling through).
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, lamented that the nation proved to be "more divided than we thought" but told supporters, "We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead."
Standing before a crowd of crestfallen campaign aides and backers, Clinton said, "This is painful and it will be for a long time."
She acknowledged that America has not "shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling" with her failed bid, but she assured that "someday, somebody will."
'LICK OUR WOUNDS'
President Barack Obama hailed Trump's call for unity and said, "we are now all rooting for his success."
Obama spoke to reporters in the Rose Garden of the White House in a post-election ritual meant to signal the peaceful transition of power from one president to the next. He vowed to do all he could to ensure a smooth transition and tried to buck up Democrats still reeling with disappointment and shock.
"Everybody is sad when their side loses an election, but the day after, we have to remember we are actually all on one team," Obama said.
"And then if we lose, we learn from our mistakes, we do some reflection, we lick our wounds, we brush ourselves off, we get back in the arena," he added. "But the point, though, is that we all go forward with the presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens."
Trump's victory was concocted in the alchemy of a muscular performance by working-class whites so potent that it overwhelmed the national trend toward a more diverse population that traditionally favors Democrats.
That dynamic was amplified by the peculiar mathematics of the Electoral College, which gave an outsized voice to less educated voters in the Midwest.
MAKING THE SUPREME COURT ODD AGAIN
Trump will enter the Oval Office with the ability to re-establish the Supreme Court's conservative tilt and the chance to cement it for the long term.
Trump is expected to act quickly to fill one court vacancy and could choose the successor for up to three justices who will be in their 80s by the time his term ends.
The court has been short-handed since conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, and Trump has said he would seek someone in Scalia's mold from a list of 21 people, mainly conservative state and federal judges in their 50s.
Trump's victory was a vindication for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's strategy of refusing all year even to consider Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland and end the potential for an even split in the court.
Republicans held onto their slim Senate majority, a stinging blow to Democrats in a night full of them. Democrats had been nearly certain of retaking control but saw their hopes fizzle as endangered GOP incumbents won in Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and even Democrat-friendly Wisconsin.
Republicans will also command the House for two more years as Trump's astounding White House triumph helped them keep their record-sized majority nearly intact.
"He just earned a mandate," House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday. He will now have to work with a president with whom he had a turbulent relationship during the campaign.
GLASS CEILING INTACT
For many of Clinton's diehard female supporters, the loss was twofold. Some were disappointed that Clinton fell short of becoming the first female president. Others expressed revulsion that the president-elect is someone who has denigrated women, mocked a beauty pageant contestant for her weight, spoken about grabbing women by the genitals, and been accused of multiple instances of sexual assault.
But in the end, it wasn't the blowout some had predicted, with Trump earning about 42 percent of the votes cast by women — the overwhelming majority of them white.
GLOBAL MARKETS: THEY LOVE HIM, THEY LOVE HIM NOT
Trump's promise to put America first helped propel him to the U.S. presidency, but it also unleashed uncertainty on the global economy — skewering major trading partners and offering few specifics that might calm allies, businesses and investors.
Financial markets reacted quickly and negatively to the unknowns of a Trump stewardship of the world's largest economy. Stocks stabilized Wednesday morning, while U.S. Treasury notes lost value, pushing up interest rates.
GO TO POT?
The marijuana legalization movement scored its biggest victory yet Tuesday as voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational pot, making the drug fully legal in the nation's most populous state and giving it a toehold in the densely populated Northeast.
Voters in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas approved medical marijuana measures.