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2016 Newsmakers of the Year: The Mud Slingers

It was a campaign like no other.

When Donald Trump shocked the establishment and won the Republican nomination for President, the presumptive first woman resident, Hillary Clinton, remained calm. After all, the pundits said, winning the nomination from a partisan Republican electorate is a whole different animal than securing the trust of the entire country.

While the true Trump converts still believed, the prevailing wisdom was he was too gruff, too angry, too blunt and singularly self-centered for the Oval Office. The tech industry, for the most part agreed, and Silicon Valley’s dollars rolled toward Clinton’s campaign coffers. She released a wonkish 12-page technology plan to keep the country competitive in the global economy through innovation. Meantime, Trump had no time for details; he just promised to Make America Great Again, but was smart enough to add a hashtag. In the end, he got the last laugh.

The tech titans who backed Clinton are now going to be forced to work with an administration that has no precedent. Nobody in business likes a wild card for a leader, but the promise of less regulation and friendlier tax policies toward corporations has bought Trump some time with the tech sector. How patient it will be once Trump actually starts implementing policy, especially around tariffs and immigration, a process that many fear will be defined as “by the seat of his pants,” is anyone’s guess. And what Clinton does now, how involved she’ll be in politics or public service, is one of the more fascinating stories to watch unfold in 2017.

See the rest of the 2016 Newsmakers of the Year.