1. The 1 thing
Pause for a second: The past year has been so absurd, so blow-your-mind unpredictable that we are almost numb to tectonic shifts in our politics and behavior.
Think about the half day of madness that started when BuzzFeed posted, in full, an unsubstantiated, one-source memo, funded by partisans, that claimed acts -- too disgusting to print -- by the man a week from the Oval Office:
- This sets Twitter afire and prompts an all-caps Trump tweet about FAKE NEWS. Then, in a scene unprecedented in U.S. history, the incoming president starts his first press conference in 24 weeks with his incoming White House press secretary unloading on reporters for trying to delegitimize a president before he even takes office.
- Then, with stage props and clapping staff, the president charges CNN, which DIDN'T post the memo, with purveying "Fake News," prompting CNN correspondent Jim Acosta to shout question after question (while NPR's Mara Liasson, who had been called on, tried to talk) in a manner never seen under the last two presidents.
- Reporters arrived as early as 7 a.m. to get seats at the 11 o'clock presser. By 9:30, when Maggie Haberman and I got there, it was standing room only. A Russian reporter taped a standup from the seats down front, and a Russian behind me kept hollering at Trump even after the elevator doors had closed behind him.
- Trump, rhetorically more measured than during his campaign, went on to explain he was turning his business over to his sons, bucking a decades-old tradition of cutting all biz ties.
- "I hope at the end of eight years[!]," Trump said as his closing line, "I'll come back and say, 'Oh, you did a good job.' Otherwise, if they do a bad job, I'll say, 'You're fired.'"
- Be smart: The show overshadowed the substance. Trump admitted Russia hacked Dems, announced his V.A. secretary, endorsed repeal-and-replace, and said Supreme Court nominee "probably within two weeks" of inauguration.