So right now Jill Stein has raised enough money to trigger a recount in one state, and nearly enough to do so in two more. The combined electoral votes are more than enough to put Clinton over the top. There is a very real chance that recounts will be triggered. So what are the possibilities here, and what do they mean for us?
First off there will probably be accusations of collusion between Stein and Clinton. Had Clinton requested the recounts it would have only further divided the country against her. So Stein requesting these are political convenient, which guarantees some lying article writer will exploit it. The next possibilities are that one or two states flip, but not enough to flip things to Clinton, and finally that all three flip.
Ignoring how these states might have gotten things so wrong, if not enough flip then nothing will change. Trump only cares about the public as an audience. Actual public opinion doesn’t seem to matter. Not that it necessarily should. If a president governed exclusively by what the polls said we’d probably still have slavery. But he seems to care less than most others, with the exception of maybe Nixon. I don’t believe it will change his behavior one whit. However, on the tiny chance that all three states flip, then an already weird year gets weirder.
Clinton will have an impossibly tiny amount of time to put her team together. She’s probably up to the challenge. I imagine many Obama staffers would keep their jobs, and she’s probably already has a list for the top spots that need to be filled. But suddenly Trump will have his victory snatched from his tiny hands. How would he react to such a situation? There would probably court cases left and right, and given that the Supreme Court has an even number of members then it would probably fall to a lower court to decide. If, on the minute chance, Trump lost everything, I can barely imagine his relief. He would have proven that a guy with no experience running things exactly the way he wants has the ability to come within a hair of the high political office in the US, and he wouldn’t have to deal with the actual responsibilities of actually doing it. He could say he really won based on the fact that likely an Obama appointee in a relatively low court would cast the deciding vote.
I was never convinced Trump actually wanted the job. He wants to win, sure. The word “win” is his favorite one. But why would he actually want to govern? The president gets blamed for everything. There are constant demands on his time with no right answers to situations you had nothing to do with. It’s a lose-lose job. Sure, the history books may judge you nicely, but that won’t benefit you much personally. Winning, even for a tiny bit, then losing on what he’d see as a technicality, would give him the taste of power without feeding him till he explodes. I can’t imagine a better result for him.