Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump winning the Indiana primary, knocking off the last of his competitors for the Republican nomination and setting himself on a path to the presidency of the United States.
"It has been some unbelievable day and evening and year — never been through anything like this," Trump declared in his victory speech, calling it a "beautiful thing to behold." Then-Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on Twitter that Trump would be the "presumptive nominee," and called on the party to "unite and focus on defeating" Hillary Clinton.
Now Priebus is the White House chief of staff under President Trump and one of his RNC deputies, Sean Spicer, is the White House press secretary. Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana who endorsed Ted Cruz as part of the Never Trump conservatives' last stand, is vice president.
Many Republicans who had been far more critical of Trump now work for him. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos never endorsed him during the campaign. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney were much more enthusiastic supporters of Trump primary opponents.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was one of the last holdouts among national GOP leaders who didn't immediately endorse Trump after Indiana. Ryan has ended up working closely with Trump on a shared Republican agenda.
It's an outcome few national Republican operatives and conservative leaders envisioned. It was widely assumed Trump's campaign for the GOP nomination would eventually fizzle as the 17-candidate field narrowed and that if he somehow did win, he would lose to Clinton and the party would have to rebuild.
Instead, Trump dashed the hopes of movement conservatives who thought they had the best chance to beat an establishment candidate and nominate one of their own since Ronald Reagan defeated George H.W. Bush in 1980. Trump upset Clinton in the general election. "He was trailing until maybe later afternoon on Election Day," said a GOP strategist.
Trump has made some headway in his efforts to transform the Republican Party he now leads. Polls showed a massive shift against free trade among rank-and-file GOP voters, and one survey during the campaign showed 85 percent saying free trade was a net jobs destroyer compared to 54 percent of Democrats.
Republican congressional leaders, all free traders, now sit respectfully when President Trump castigates the North American Free Trade Agreement, which most GOP lawmakers supported back in the 1990s, and pushes his "Buy American, Hire American" initiatives.
"My job is not to represent the world," Trump told Congress earlier this year. "My job is to represent the United States of America." The Republican members cheered wildly.
This rhetoric was central to how Trump won the presidential election, winning Rust Belt states that hadn't gone Republican since the 1980s. Indiana predicted some of this too. As Trump moved closer to clinching the GOP nomination, Hoosier Democrats voted for Bernie Sanders over Clinton. Clinton lost blue-collar whites in the state's primary by 30 points and independents by 46 points.
NAFTA also shows the limits of Trump's ability to upend the Republican consensus on trade. When the president contemplated an executive order terminating the agreement, he faced pushback from GOP lawmakers.
"Scrapping NAFTA would be a disastrously bad idea," protested Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. "It would hurt American families at the check-out, and it would cripple American producers in the field and the office."
"Yes, there are places where our agreements could be modernized, but here's the bottom line: trade lowers prices for American consumers and it expands markets for American goods," Sasse added. "Risking trade wars is reckless, not wise."
But several months into his term, it's not all smooth sailing for Trump. The factions that Trump defeated in the Republican primaries — ideological conservatives like Cruz and centrists drawn to Ohio Gov. John Kasich — have bedeviled his efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The first version of the American Health Care Act was rejected by the conservative Freedom Caucus, the latest is having trouble winning over centrists representing competitive congressional districts.
One conservative lawmaker nevertheless praised Trump's leadership role in the party, especially on healthcare. The member described the president as bringing in Republican holdouts and asking them what it would take to get them to vote yes. When those efforts still fell short of a House majority for the bill, Vice President Pence was brought in to take another shot at cutting a deal.
"We'd kill for more of that [kind of leadership] on this budget deal," the lawmaker said.
Trump has also in some respects been a more conventional Republican president than expected. He ordered strikes on Syria when President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on civilians. He no longer says he believes NATO is obsolete. Trump put a reliable conservative on the Supreme Court and seeded them throughout the administration.
For all the focus on Trump's Democratic son-in-law Jared Kushner, a senior adviser, and the nationalist-populist chief strategist Stephen Bannon, the Republican legislative agenda has largely remained intact. National Economic Council head Gary Cohn has been described as "leading a Democratic invasion" of the White House alongside Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, but Trump released a supply-side tax reform plan.
Despite anemic job approval ratings overall, Trump remains extremely popular with the Republican base. He is a less polarizing figure among GOP voters than when he won Indiana a year ago, even though many of the old party's problems remain.
Conservative activists remain skeptical of Republican promises on spending and Obamacare. Establishment leaders are struggling to keep GOP lawmakers united behind a governing agenda.
Still, some Republicans in Congress would even like to see their colleagues do more to back the president. "Congress needs to do a better job in understanding the reason Donald Trump is our president," Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., told the Washington Examiner. Trump was the first Republican to win Kelly's home state in a presidential election since 1988.