After three days of voting, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has failed to get enough votes to be elected as House Speaker. And one name that is starting to gain traction in online betting on who will ultimately be elected is Donald J. Trump.
So far, the only member of Congress to vote for Trump for speaker has been Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) but the odds of Trump getting elected have improved since Thursday.
“Before Thursday, BetOnline.ag gave the odds of Trump becoming House Speaker at 33-1,” explains Newsweek. “As of Friday, the website Oddschecker, which compares odds and offers from over 25 U.K. bookmakers, gave the odds of Trump winning at 13-1, confirming that the odds of Trump becoming House speaker were shortening.”
In contrast to the widespread assumption, it is not necessary for the Speaker of the House to be a current member of the House of Representatives. However, it would be unprecedented because it has never happened before. So, at least in theory, Trump could be elected speaker, however unlikely it is. It certainly would be epic if it happened, though. There’d be no better way to cause Democrats’ heads to explode.
Despite the recent betting surge in Trump’s favor, the odds still favor McCarthy, as 37.62% of all bets are going in his direction. However, it is clear that McCarthy’s odds are shrinking.
So, what of Trump and the speakership? The idea of Trump being Speaker of the House has been floating around for some time. However, the former president has previously said he was not interested.
“No, I think that it’s not something I wanted. A lot of people bring it up. It’s brought up all the time. No, it’s not something I want to do. I want to look at what’s happening, and then we’re going to be doing something else. No, it’s not something I would be interested in,” Trump said last year during an interview with Just the News.
But has Trump changed his mind?
Maybe. In a post on Truth Social, Trump shared a photoshop image of him sitting in the Speaker’s chair during a Biden State of the Union address.
This certainly could be his way of saying that if elected, he would serve, right?
Perhaps, but likely not. For starters, I suspect that in the unlikely event McCarthy steps aside, Trump would not have enough support within the Republican Party’s small House majority to get 218 votes. But even if he did, there’s one big problem: He’s already declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election. From where I sit, it would be impractical to serve as House Speaker while running for president, and it is unlikely that Trump would end his campaign for president to serve as speaker.
Though I have to admit, the idea of Trump becoming House Speaker and ending his presidential campaign would probably be a good thing. As much as many Trump supporters would like to see him back in the Oval Office, he could start wielding significant power as Speaker of the House immediately. And Ron DeSantis would have a fairly easy path to the GOP nomination in 2024.