Yes, this is a thing. Certain Republicans want Donald Trump to be the next Speaker of the House! And Trump isn’t saying no way.
I would think that after being president, being Speaker of the House of Representatives would be something of a letdown. The speaker does get security, but hardly the perks of being president of the United States. There is no dedicated DC mansion for the Speaker, no Air Force One, or even Air Force Two or Air Force Three. The Speaker can ask the Air Force if they have a spare jet available if there is some important event they need to attend away from Washington. No guarantee they will get the jet though. When granted, it’s usually to take a high ranking congressional delegation somewhere.
You would think that if Trump wanted to be Speaker he would need to win an election to the House of Representatives. Florida is scheduled to gain a representative as a result of reapportionment. Draw the new districts carefully to create an open seat in West Palm Beach and hope that all the moneyed people there vote for him. It could be done although he could lose such an election.
Fortunately for Trump, he doesn’t have to run for Congress at all. He just has to hope that Republicans retake the House in 2022 and that Republicans then use their majority to make him speaker. It’s never been done before, as previous speakers have always come from existing members of the House. But the U.S. constitution is clear, even if most people haven’t paid attention to this part: “The House of Representatives shall chuse (sic) their Speaker and other Officers.”
It would set up a strange situation because to cast a vote in the House you have to be elected to the House. So Speaker Trump would not be able to cast any votes. In theory, anyone could be Speaker if a majority of the House votes for the person and that includes non-citizens, minors, and, presumably, a cute labradoodle.
What power would Trump have as Speaker? For one thing, if he messes up, he could be easily tossed asunder. Speakers don’t have terms, though they usually serve the two-year term of the Congress. If a speaker falls out of favor, they can be replaced by a majority vote of the members of the House. There’s little likelihood of that given that Republicans are such toadies for the man. It’s easy to predict though that if Trump were elected speaker, he would do just as good a job at it as he did as president. Which means he would royally f*** things up.
There’s not a whole lot that the Speaker actually has to do, which would appeal to Trump. The good thing is that you get to preside over the House, which means you can start and end House sessions. It’s pretty boring stuff though, which is why it is a duty typically delegated out to a speaker tempore, generally some junior members of the House. Listening to all the drivel that amounts to a typical House session is a chore. Trump would not listen and, assuming his Twitter account is restored, would be tweeting from the Speaker’s chair.
The Speaker is the third in the line of succession in the event of the untimely demise of the president and vice president. That would appeal to Trump. The Speaker also has a lot of say on who sits on prominent House committees but also has some curious assignments, like administering the House audio and video broadcast systems. Other than that though, the office’s powers are mostly what you can get away with and no doubt Trump would push the envelope. It’s not hard to see him trying to not advance any government funding bills just because he doesn’t like them.
Frankly, Trump would find the job mostly a bore. Given that he felt the same way about being president, he’d likely be a largely absent speaker. He’s constitutionally unable to focus on anything, but if your goal is to make government less focused, he might excel in that way. It might be fun for him for a month or two. But he would resent the attention given to the President of the United States, whose prestige is something his office could not begin to match.
Hopefully, Democrats will retain the House in the 2022 election and it will be a moot point, at least until 2024. Given Trump’s ego though he’s more likely to make another run for the presidency than want to be speaker in 2025, assuming Republicans then retake the House. Being speaker would garner him some attention, but at best it would be second fiddle attention. Given his ego, it’s easier to see him ultimately figuring the job is beneath him.
And, in fact, he’s simply not up to doing the job in any way that would be seen as even minimally competent. So I’m hoping he won’t even try. If he does try and somehow succeeds, he would become his own worst enemy. Already amnesia is kicking in among the public on his disastrous presidency. A disastrous speakership would help us remember what an utter loser and fool that man has always been.
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