NEW YORK — The glass revolving doors of Trump Tower were doing what they have done every day since Donald Trump became the president-elect of the United States: briskly allowing a steady stream of mostly tourists from the interior of the country get a glimpse, sometimes longer, of the comings and goings of the man and his Cabinet members who will soon govern this country.
"The energy of the people who come just to stand behind the ropes is sort of unbelievable," said one of two New York City fireman charged with keeping an eye on things in the lobby of the building where the president-elect has been going about the business of putting his government together for his January inauguration.
"If you see Mr. Trump can you please tell him that the Murphys' from Minnesota wish him good luck and that we pray for him?" a gentleman told one of the police officers as he and his wife strolled past the elevators where Trump, his children, future Cabinet members, U.S. senators, members of Congress, business leaders, a former vice president and a rapper have all taken the golden elevators to the 26th floor.
Carlos, from Florida, a third-generation Hispanic American also wanted to pass on good wishes to the Trump family, as he lingered with his family in the lobby, "We saved up to come to New York for Christmas for the first time, I wanted my family to see the best city in America, first place we stop is here to maybe see the next president," he told an officer standing off to the left of the gold elevators.
"It's like that all day long," the fire chief said, adding, "To be honest I didn't know what to expect during the transition process, but honestly the well-wishers come from all over and really just want him to know they are behind him," he said.
It's not exactly the same reception that Trump is getting from those who opposed him, loathed him, still have not accepted that he has won the election and worse yet still have not understood why he won.
They have blamed Russian interference and James Comey's letter for Hillary Clinton's loss; yes the Russians have appeared to interfere and yes Comey's letter was damning to Clinton, but if we all had the ability to be honest with ourselves the DNC emails and the Comey hesitation only reinforced people's view of Clinton's character whether for or against her.
In short, if more journalists had spent time in Middle America, they would have understood that this election wasn't decided at the last moment. The outcome was not a result of what was in those emails. People had already concluded they knew who Clinton was, and the revelations only cemented those sentiments.
Same with the Comey letter.
Here is a shocker: I'd estimate based on my reporting that this election was baked before the debates, before the "Access Hollywood" tapes, before the hacked emails and before anyone took the time to actually notice, listen and understand just how upended the American voter is.
Pollsters will likely become apoplectic over my conclusion. That's OK, they deal with numbers and could likely argue with great big gobs of data that I'm wrong; while I am not in the business of predicting, I am in the business of listening to people.
It was there in plain sight for everyone to see if they wanted to; it is clear that they did not and that is a bias towards him and prejudice towards the people that needs to be corrected.
What is remarkable right now is that a large portion of the pundits and some reporters still don't get it; they still aren't listening, they still aren't opening their minds to the concerns of the voters who placed him in office and they are still missing what is hiding in plain sight for all of them to see; this guy connects with a large portion of the United States.
Yes Hillary Clinton got more votes than Trump, the bulk of which are located in two states, but that is not how you win. In the 1960 World Series the New York Yankees scored 55 runs to the Pittsburgh Pirates 27; out-hit them as well .328 verses .256, but the Pirates won when it counted and all those superior numbers meant nothing.
In short, you win by the rules of the game, not by the rules of your bias.
The media miss the things that matter to voters like how Trump thanks his voters verses Clinton's thank you; he holds rallies in the very regions that provided him with a win, while Hillary thanks the big dollar donors in Manhattan.
Absolutely no one knows if Donald Trump is going to be a good or bad president. That is on him, his decision and the people he surrounds himself with. Was it a good idea to go after the CIA when it came to the Russians? No. He should have drawn a clear line saying his win had nothing to do with Russian hacking and that as president he will make sure that this never happens again.
That is the part of him that he needs to curtail but certainly not a sign, as many have suggested, that he is in bed with the Russians, or that he is a demagogue, or a fascist, or a Nazi, or will take press freedoms away, or any of the other of the thousands of things he has been accused of in the past month.
And despite repeated efforts to delegitimize his candidacy with recounts and faithless electors and allegations that the Russians stole the election from Clinton, none of this doubt-casting is going to change anything. It is a reminder that many people in this country have no idea of basic U.S. civics.
Hillary Clinton lost because she ran arguably one of the worst campaigns in the history of campaigns; there was no message, their team ignored the pleas of longtime grassroots activists to be more engaged, and to stop hating on anyone who was not brown, black, gay or part of some specialized voting bloc.
Bill Clinton understood that, you could see it in his speeches and his mannerisms at each event in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio that I covered; he understood that the politics was not reaching the very voters he embraced 20 years earlier, and you could see it pained him to see them dying young, left behind and without hope.
There is an argument to be made that had reporters and Clinton's team done two things a year ago they would have understood what was happening this year; read Trump's book, "The Art of the Deal," and gone out and really listened to voters rather than make a spectacle of them.
There is also an argument to be made going forward that reporters should do the same thing today; we have four more years of this administration with a big midterm in between today and his potential reelection. It might be a good time to start to get to know both instead of spending the next four years continuously getting him and them wrong.
Salena Zito is a columnist for the Washington Examiner.