When all the votes are counted, recounted and litigated, Joseph Biden, “Joey from Scranton,” will most likely be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Biden already has more than 73 million votes. That’s already 8 million more than Hillary Clinton received in 2016.
While the Electoral College margin might be tighter than many expected, the American people loudly and emphatically told Trump, “You’re fired!”
It was personal.
The Republican Party overall did much better than expected in both House and Senate races. They also did well in gubernatorial contests and state legislative elections. It was Trump and Trump alone the country rejected.
So, don’t expect to see Donald Trump on the platform as President Biden takes the oath of office. Then again, there might not be anyone on the platform. Instead, expect a Zoom ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Biden did host drive-in rallies during the campaign, so we might see the National Mall packed like the Galleria parking lot on Black Friday with cars, SUVs and RVs honking horns in lieu of applause.
But either way, former President Trump is likely to bug out of D.C. like John Adams did in 1801 rather than witness the man who beat him put his hand on the Bible.
Unlike Adams, or most former presidents, Donald Trump will remain a major force in American politics for years to come. Under the Constitution, Trump is eligible to serve another term as president. He can sit back and live-tweet vengeance on Biden, on Fox News for calling Arizona, attack the usual media piñatas and whoever irks him on any given day. Then, when 2023 rolls around, a tanned (spray-on) rested and ready DJT can throw his hair back into the ring.
For many of you, this might sound like a Stephen King plot. For others, it’ll be a reason to take your Trumpy Bears out of mothballs. In defeat, the 45th president of the United States can look to the 22nd and 24th presidents to chart his path back to power, assuming he can answer this “Jeopardy!” clue: “Who is Grover Cleveland?”
New York Gov. Grover Cleveland was elected president in 1884, lost his reelection bid to Indiana Gov. Benjamin Harrison, then returned the favor in 1892 by beating Harrison in the rematch. Theodore Roosevelt might well have run and won in 1920 had he not died in 1919. Martin Van Buren tried and failed for a third party bid in 1948. Millard Filmore gave it another shot in 1856, and Ulysses Grant came up short in 1880. While most former presidents are content to write their memoirs and build their libraries, it’s hard to picture Donald Trump in passive retirement.
More significantly, who do the Republicans have who can stop him?
Donald Trump is the Republican Party.
Short of death or a criminal conviction on tax and/or fraud charges in the Southern District of New York, Trump is the kingmaker in the GOP. The crown is his should he choose to wear it.
I have no idea if former President Trump could win in 2024. We’re still not 100 percent sure who won in 2020. My crystal ball is not only cloudy, it’s cracked. Still, Donald Trump will never go quietly into the night like George W. Bush did, barely saying a word during his successor’s eight years in office. Or Barack Obama, who not only bit his lip for most of the past four years, he practically chewed them off as Trump did his best to undo everything Obama did. It wasn’t until the closing days of the campaign that Obama finally let loose.
Donald Trump can’t be muzzled. He proved that again last Thursday during his truth-genocide press conference where he set a new World Record for LPMs, lies-per-minute. Still, his supporters love that he won’t stay silent in a world where so many feel they are being censored.
So, expect Trump to spend the next three years retailing whoppers about a “stolen” election he lost by millions of votes while waiting to see who the Democrats nominate in 2024, assuming Biden only serves one term.
Is this the end of the Trump era or only intermission? Biden will face his own crises. Memories fade quickly. The “Miss me yet?” billboards will go up. With no one on the GOP horizon to challenge him, don’t bet against Donald Trump Part II.
In the meantime, exhale.
Doug McIntyre’s column appears Sundays. He can be reached at: Doug@DougMcIntyre.com.