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Tomi Lahren: Trump’s victory shows ‘this wasn’t a campaign — this was a movement’

Tomi Lahren

(Dallas News) – Before the polls closed on Election Night, conservative pundit Tomi Lahren walked into her Irving office of The Blaze and faced the same reaction many Donald Trump supporters have over the past year: She was laughed at. By colleagues and fellow conservatives.

Are you going to be OK? they taunted. But over the next few hours, as it became clear that Trump would actually win, the jokes stopped. Lahren’s colleagues and boss, Glenn Beck, who considered themselves “Never Trumpers,” got uncomfortable. And they left.

“I was quite happy,” Lahren said Wednesday by phone. “This just goes to show this wasn’t a campaign — this was a movement. We were outspent, outnumbered, out-raised and counted out from day one, and we did it. And that says something.”

To Lahren, Trump was underestimated because the news media, polls and establishment politicians had never seen a candidate like him before. He wasn’t running a campaign with the type of political machine that has historically turned out victories.

Trump’s approach makes sense to Lahren, whose national profile is taking off at 24 years old despite her having skipped the traditional career track of a political pundit graduating from smaller markets. Her daily viral rant videos, called Final Thoughts, have helped her amass 3.3 million Facebook followers. Similarly, Trump rejected the traditional route of pouring campaign money into ads and door knockers. He largely skipped journalistic filters and went straight to the voters, the way Lahren does — on social media.

“We said, ‘Screw your way, we’re going to do it our way,'” said Lahren, who helped Trump’s campaign draw support online. “And Americans appreciated that because it was authentic and genuine, it was direct to them, and they finally felt like they were a part of something.”

Fans of Trump — and Lahren — say this straight talk resonates.”He’s not afraid to tell the truth,” said Celia Palmer, 61, a retired health administrator who lives in Wichita County near the Texas-Oklahoma border. “I’d rather have the cold, hard facts than a candy-coated lie. We can take it — we’re Americans, we’re tough.”

But the mainstream media and the Never Trumpers and the Hillary supporters never saw it coming because of their “little bubble, their little echo chamber,” Lahren said.

Many wrote off Trump’s supporters as racist, sexist or Islamophobic because of his statements that offended many women, the Black Lives Matter movement, Latinos and Muslims.

To Lahren and Trump fans, though, those weren’t insults but tough talk that had to be said.

Lahren appeared frequently on Trump’s Facebook Live broadcasts in the weeks before the election. As for her own role in the future, she says she doesn’t want to seek a job in the Trump White House. She doesn’t think she’s even qualified to be a press secretary.

She’s not ruling out politics forever, though. Her contract with The Blaze is up next fall, and she’s not sure where she’ll go then. But she says she wants to continue doing her job, commenting on the news and being tough — even on Trump.

“I’m not one of those people who thinks Trump can do no wrong,” she said. If Trump does something she disagrees with, she has no fear of reminding him, “You owe too many people. Get back on track.”

As Trump goes about his agenda, she wants to continue to make the issues — such as Obamacare, trade, energy, taxes and jobs — understandable and relevant to everyday Americans.

“It does not mean dumbing it down, it means straight talk,” she said. “It means no more of this pie-in-the-sky, abstract [expletive] that Obama’s been feeding us for eight years.”

Lahren has high hopes for Trump’s presidency. She believes he can overcome his shortcomings — she acknowledges he has a lot of learning to do and needs to act more presidential, less impulsive.

“He’s going to walk into the Oval Office in January and the weight of the world is going to fall on his shoulders and he’s going to say, ‘You know what? I did this for these American people and I’m not going to let them down.'”

Trump’s huge ego is his best attribute, Lahren says, because he won’t want to be known as a horrible president or one who didn’t accomplish what he said he would.

“He’s got too much ego in the game to not do it,” she said. “And to not be a winner.”

Lahren believes Trump is going to surround himself with the best policy experts he can find in national security, trade, energy and regulation. And she said he will listen to them, despite his track record of making his own decisions during his campaign.

He’ll still speak his own way and be himself, she says. But Trump campaign advisers like Rudy Giuliani and Gen. Michael Flynn have told Lahren that Trump wants to learn.

“He’s wise enough as a businessman to know he doesn’t know everything,” Lahren said. “People think he thinks he knows everything. He doesn’t. He thinks he knows how to communicate with the American people. And he does, as proven by last night.”

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