After 18 punishing months, we finally know the answer to the question: who will be the next President of the United States? But this answer has only bred more questions. Questions like; ‘what kind of president will Donald Trump be?’, ‘how did Donald Trump become president?’ and ‘will we survive until 2020 now that Donald Trump is president?’.
These are important questions, but surely what we should all be asking, is: ‘who will be the next next President?’
It may still be early days and I may know practically zilch about most of the candidates, but that didn’t stop more informed people than myself getting everything about the last election wrong. So let’s cast our eyes over the bookies’ choices for the Twenties…
You have to go back to George Bush Snr. in 1993 for the last time an incumbent president didn’t serve a second term, which bodes well for the current president-elect. However, the fact that he will have the nuclear codes at his fingertips and could, in a fit of pique, end civilization as we know it before we reach the dizzying heights of ‘living another four years’ bodes less well for ol’ Trump. Provided he spares us all, the orange one’s chances rest on the extent to which he can enact his odious policy positions and the point at which the US public go ‘this brazen discrimination against pretty much all marginalised groups is pretty bad, actually…’ Could go either way.
Likelihood: Everyone said it would not happen the first time. It feasibly shouldn’t happen again, so I’m calling it. It’s gonna happen guys.
You have to go back to George Bush Snr, again, for the last time a VP succeeded a president, and back to 1963 for the last time they succeeded a president who hadn’t served both terms. And that was because JFK was assassinated.
Likelihood: Not beyond the realms of possibility that Trump could be killed, which makes this a strong ‘possible’.
The reigning First Lady is a current popular choice amongst liberals, but America’s love of dynasties came to an abrupt end when they gave a hard ‘pass’ on having either a third Bush or a second Clinton.
Likelihood: Here she is dismissing the idea in a way which suggests she finds it vaguely annoying.
Man: "Run for president!"— Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) November 14, 2016
First Lady Michelle Obama: "Be quiet back there."
She's so AWESOME.pic.twitter.com/c0rhENOLTg
The progressive Massachusetts Senator belongs to a similar part of the Democratic Party as Bernie Sanders, and has been vocally critical of the centrist Hillary Clinton’s inability to connect with working class voters. Whether the party moves further to the left to distance itself further from the Republicans or rightwards in an attempt to scoop up their voter-base would determine if Warren would get the nomination.
Likelihood: Probably the best placed Actual politician to become America’s first female President as it stands.
Has come to be seen as the de-facto leader of the Democrats in the days since Clinton’s defeat, and his name has already been thrown into the hat for 2020 runners. His name also makes him sound like a background character in a teen drama set in a leafy high school. Cory Booker’s the guy who pops up to segue scenes together – red cup in one hand, skateboard in the other – and excitedly exclaiming “Dude! Janey’s having a big party later, you in?” before running off screen. Corey Booker has one episode where the main character is acting petulantly and demanding his parents buy him some new fad trainers or a car and they refuse and so the main character runs away from home and happens across Corey Booker who is stoically burying his dog and childhood best friend Milo in the front yard and then turns to the main character and says “I guess sometimes in life, you don’t always get what you want” and this helps the main character learn a valuable lesson in humility.
Likelihood: When the question was put to him, Booker said: "It's way too early to begin discussing 2020… There is serious, serious work to do. I'm focused on what I have to do when I get back to Washington next week." Which basically is as good as confirmation of intent as any.
Rubio dropped out of this year’s Republican primaries and planned to leave politics altogether, but then it turned out he was the party’s only candidate polling well enough in Florida to get elected to the senate, so he was begrudgingly pulled back in, like Al Pacino in The Godfather III. This guy has fucking big ears.
Likelihood: Will the American public rally round someone who looks like his ears were drawn on by Quentin Blake? Who doesn’t need the NSA because he can hear you whispering from the other side of the country, on account of his massive fucking ears? Whose enormous crater ears could only have been formed after being smacked in both sides of the head at once by two asteroids? I don’t think so.
She just lost an election to Donald Trump.
Likelihood: She just lost an election to Donald Trump.
After Trump’s transition from reality television bully to probably the most powerful person in the world, all bets are off. Except in this article, where all bets are very much: on. DiCaprio has given many electrifying turns in many great movies as many iconic characters. He has also appeared in many, frankly, boring climate change documentaries in which he’s managed to make the inevitable end of the world seem like a really quite dull affair.
Likelihood: Will take him at least five goes to win. #DiCaprio2036
The musical megastar and fashion semi-star has frequently announced his intention to run, most notably at the 2015 VMA awards, though his policy positions are rather less clear: “When I talk about the idea of being president, I’m not saying I have any political views,” he told Annie Mac. “I don’t have views on politics, I just have a view on humanity, on people, on the truth. If there is anything that I can do with my time to somehow make a difference while I’m still alive, I’m all for it.” Good on you, Kanye mate. Unless his view on truth is ‘it’s bad’, his view on people is ‘not a big fan’ and his view on humanity is ‘end it’, in which case the difference he wants to make might be fairly terminal. Time will tell.
Likelihood: Seems genuinely ambitious enough that his bid will actually happen, whether he’ll formulate any political views in the interim four years to be a viable candidate is less certain.
The House of Cards man seems to have been thrown in here because he plays [SPOILERS] the president on telly.
Likelihood: Given that America have just elected someone who was previously best known for dismissing people from an unrealistic hiring process on television, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility they could elect someone who they’ve already adjusted to as the fictional pres.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
Like Arnold Schwarzenegger before him, this popular celebrity strongman leans to the Republican end of the spectrum, being a registered party voter. His boss and friend, the WWE head honcho Vince McMahon, was a big Trump supporter and donator (Linda McMahon could serve in Trump’s cabinet), which might make old ‘The Rock’ an unlikely natural successor to the incoming president. Can the most electrifying man in sports entertainment transition into the most competent man in executive government? Will the jabroni-beating-pie-eating-trailbrazing-eyebrow-raising-the-best-in-the-present-future-and-past-and-if-you-don't-like-him-you-can-kiss-the-people's-ass layeth the laws down?
Likelihood: For me, this all hinges on whether or not he will drop ‘The Rock’ from his name altogether. If he goes full ‘Dwayne Johnson’, I can’t see it. But President ‘The Rock’ Johnson? That’s a vote winner, for me.
A man that become a meme because he wore a red jumper during one of the debates.
Likelihood: Don’t bet on this, you idiot.