He was reacting to the re-election of George Bush junior, as I still refer to him. And the reason I retail this ancient anecdote is to underline how journalists and politicians can happily delude themselves if they want to.
By 2004, it’s true, George W Bush had the advantage of incumbency - but, although he had to wait until Ohio came in late, to confirm his victory, it was clear that his election was no fluke.
It seems commentators forgot that again, this time - despite plenty of warning that white working men are more angry than ever before in America. That demographic might arguably be in decline, but it’s still a enormous constituency, which can decide elections. And it doesn’t matter how many other segments of the electorate turn out to vote Democrat.
Their concerns have to be addressed, of course. Preferably without resort to racism, sexism and isolationism though. And they should have been addressed long before now - long before there was any threat of extreme ideas becoming tolerated.
The ordinary mechanisms of the Republican Party and a confidently Republican Congress may attenuate the most alarming ideas out there. Or they may accentuate them. We will wait and see.