As certain media pundits cheered and high-fived each other over Democratic Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones’ shock victory Tuesday evening, President Trump tweeted a calm and measured note of congratulations to the incoming U.S. senator.
It was weird.
See, everyone expects partisan pundits to whoop and cheer when their team wins. Everyone also expects the losing candidate to take his defeat graciously.
More recently, everyone also expects the notoriously loose-lipped and hot-tempered president to have a nasty thing or two to say about the people who oppose him.
On Tuesday night, only one of those expectations was met when former Michigan governor and CNN political commentator Jennifer Granholm openly gloated over the Democratic upset.
There was not, however, a gracious concession from Moore. There was also no nasty jabs or insults from the president.
Instead, we got this from the president: “Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!”
Let’s see: Measured, respectful, no typing or spelling errors, and no weird uses of quotation remarks. This was almost certainly ghostwritten by a White House staffer.
And as for Moore, well, he flat-out refuses to concede defeat. Instead, he’s leaning in the direction of demanding a recount. Alabama’s secretary of state doesn’t see that as a realistic possibility, but the Moore campaign seems determined to go out on an ungracious and petty note nonetheless.
Good money says Trump will eventually have something nasty to say about the Alabama upset, and we'll likely see it as soon as Wednesday morning.
For now, though, it’s bit jarring to see that the president of the United States had the calmest, most measured, and most mature response Tuesday to an electoral defeat that threatens to derail his legislative agenda.