Obama to host Trump at White House
> US leader: America now ‘rooting’ for presidentelect’s success
WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama ( pix) was to receive a triumphant Donald Trump yesterday for talks on executing a smooth transition of power and steadying nerves after a vote that shocked the world.
Anger over Trump’s election win spilled out onto the streets of US cities yesterday as chanting protesters lit bonfires and snarled traffic. In Los Angeles an orange-headed Trump head was burned in effigy.
Forty-eight hours after Trump’s upset win, the 70-year-old president-elect and Obama will meet in the Oval Office for what may be an awkward meeting to prepare ahead of the Jan 20 inauguration.
Trump championed the so-called “birther movement” challenging if Obama was actually born in the US – a suggestion laden with deep racial overtones – only dropping the position recently.
The Democratic commander-in-chief in turn has described the celebrity businessman as “uniquely unqualified” to be president.
But in the day after Trump’s shocking win, which virtually no poll had predicted, both sides spoke of healing deep divisions.
Vanquished Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, holding back the disappointment of not becoming America’s first female leader urged Americans to give Trump a chance.
“We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” she said in a concession speech.
Obama, addressing disconsolate staff in the White House Rose Garden, played down Trump win as part of the messy “zigzag” movement of a democracy.
“Sometimes you lose an argument,” he said, adding that all Americans would now be “rooting” for Trump’s success.
“We are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country,” he said as staff wiped away tears.
In the battle for the soul of America, those who helped elect America’s first black president now appear to be in retreat and pondering whether his eight years in power had come to naught.
Both Obama and Clinton issued a faint but clear warning, too, that Trump must respect institutions and the rule of law if a modicum of goodwill is to hold.
“The country needs a sense of unity, a sense of inclusion, a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law, and a respect for each other,” Obama said. – AFP
A young woman holds a sign reading ‘Muslims against Trump’ while marching in protest to his win in Berkeley, California yesterday.