Democracy Dies in Darkness

On Leadership

How we reached a Donald Trump presidency

November 9, 2016 at 5:04 AM

(Backgrounds by Craig & Karl for The Washington Post; Photo by Amy King/The Washington Post)

After an exhausting campaign season and a election-night upset, Donald Trump will serve as the next president of the United States. How did our country get to this historic moment?

In the final episode of the Presidential podcast, we take a look back at the history of the Oval Office—from the challenges that faced George Washington in first defining the unprecedented role to the leadership questions that Trump will face in this next chapter of American history.

Library of Congress historians Michelle Krowl and Julie Miller help us explore what has and hasn't changed about the nature of the presidency over the past 227 years. Washington Post journalist Dan Balz also joins the episode to reflect on the unique characteristics of the 2016 election and on the type of commander-in-chief we're likely to see when Trump takes office in January.

Listen to the episode here or on iTunes:

In previous episodes of the Presidential podcast, we've explored topics like Theodore Roosevelt's heartbreak and the way Lyndon Johnson exercised power. The podcast is hosted by Lillian Cunningham, editor of The Washington Post's On Leadership section.

As listeners tune in each week, the podcast reveals the ways in which our collective sense of what's 'presidential' has evolved over the years and how each president—esteemed, loathed or nearly forgotten—has something to tell us about what it takes to hold the nation's highest office.

Here's how to follow along:

Subscribe for free on iTunes to automatically get new episodes when they launch
Check out our Presidential page on the Washington Post site for new episodes and the full series archive
* Follow us on Twitter for discussion about the episodes and upcoming teasers
* Follow us on Instagram for images from history and from behind the scenes of the podcast


Lillian Cunningham is the creator and host of the "Presidential" and "Constitutional" podcasts. She was previously a feature writer for and editor of The Washington Post's On Leadership section, for which she received two Emmy Awards for her interviews with leaders in politics, business and the arts.

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