Ready or not, he’s baccccckkkkkk! Well, not totally. And fear not, anti-Trumpers, The Donald has not stormed the White House and engaged in fisticuffs with Joe Biden ­– just yet. But he did hit the campaign trail recently in Ohio, stumping for a former presidential aide of his who is challenging a sitting Republican Congressman who just happened to have voted to impeach #45.

Reports indicated the Ex-Pres had quite a few things to say on topics of the day. One said he spoke for over 90 minutes and touched on “surging crime, weakened police, ‘illegal aliens’ overwhelming the southern border, drug cartels back in business, schools turned into ‘leftwing indoctrination camps,’ and critical race theory being ‘forced on the military.’” In other words, it appears he hasn’t lost a beat since leaving office in January. Predictably, attendees ate it all up.

In a subsequent trip, Mr. Trump joined Texas Governor Greg Abbott at the Rio Grande to see firsthand what’s going on with his Wall and his programs. (Spoiler alert: He didn’t like what he saw.) Although he touched on many issues, one quote attributed to the former President probably summed up his feelings succinctly: “We have a sick country. It’s sick in elections, and it’s sick on the border.” There was also rampant speculation last week that Trump’s announcement of his forthcoming trip finally prompted Border Czar Kamala Harris to make a quick pitstop in El Paso on her way to California for the weekend.

Chances are, the only audiences more excited about Donald Trump’s excursions of late than his fans are the producers, anchors, and talking heads of news networks across the fruited plain. Ratings at places such as CNN and MSNBC have nose-dived ever since President Biden took office. Trump in the news is bound to boost viewership.

As expected, audiences at his events enjoyed yelling “Trump in ’24,” and he really didn’t do anything to dissuade them from doing so. Those who doubt the possibility of another run for the Pennsylvania Avenue prize by the former occupant might do well to study Grover Cleveland. Cleveland was elected President in 1884, lost a re-election bid in 1888, but promptly won back his old job in 1892, becoming the only person to serve two non-consecutive terms as Chief Executive (#22 and #24). Cleveland was another New Yorker, by the way.

But in the interim, there was another interesting scenario put forth this week about a different position that might be to Trump’s liking. That would be Speaker of the House of Representatives. Conventional Wisdom has it that there’s a good possibility the majority of the membership in the House may flip-flop after the next federal election in November 2022. Given that outcome, chances are the new Republican majority would not vote to retain Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. (And, actually, she’s already indicated she’s leaving center stage after the next election anyway, no matter the outcome.)

Since there’s been little, if any, love lost between Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Trump over the last few years, there’s reason to believe Speaker Donald would relish prying the gavel out of Nancy’s hands.

“But doesn’t that mean Trump would have to run for Congress?” I hear you cry. Not necessarily. John Quincy Adams spent nearly 17 years as a congressman after his presidency (and died at the Capitol). But being an elected representative is not a prerequisite for the Speakership.

Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution simply says, “The House of Representatives shall chuse (sic) their Speaker and other Officers.” There’s no mention that the Speaker has to be a member of the House. Whoever is selected for the post, however, must get an absolute majority of the votes. So, at least 218 members would have to vote for someone such as Trump. That might be a bit of a sticky wicket for Representatives who previously voted to impeach him.

But isn’t that what makes politics so much fun? Or dreadful, depending on your point of view.

A former Speaker such as Newt Gingrich could undoubtedly tell former President Trump that the office is hardly all pomp and circumstance. Shoot, Nancy Pelosi might even easily concur with that. (Just ask her about The Squad.) And when’s the last time Newt and Nancy ever saw eye-to-eye? As Speaker, Trump would have to sit behind his successor at the State of the Union Addresses. It would probably be Vice President Harris’ job to make sure no spitballs were thrown at Joe’s head during the speech.

We’ll see where the Trump Train heads next. Is this his kick-off to a 2024 campaign? Who knows? But it’s probably fair to say he’s had enough of sitting on the sidelines.

Bill Lewis is a freelance writer in Marietta. See more of his work at www.wordsmith-at-large.com.

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