Will Trump Be The 44th Or 45th President? Yes And Yes
We’ve been saying Donald Trump will be the nation’s 45th president and we will continue to say that.
But he will be the 44th person to take the oath of office.
Grover Cleveland gets counted twice. The former mayor of Buffalo and governor of New York was first elected president in 1884. That made him No. 22 in the line of succession.
Cleveland lost his re-election bid in 1888. Benjamin Harrison became the nation’s 23rd president.
Then in 1892, Cleveland beat Harrison in a rematch. Cleveland is the only person to have been elected president, lose a re-election bid, and then come back to the White House four years later.
It’s the break in the line of succession that’s important here. If anyone other than Cleveland had defeated Harrison in 1892, that person would have slipped into the No. 24 position. What else could be done other than to treat Cleveland as the nation’s 22nd and 24th president?
The point here is that we will continue to say Trump is going to be the nation’s 45th president. We should not, however, make a mistake like the one President Obama did in his first inaugural address. Obama said he was the 44th American to have taken the oath of office. In fact, he was the 43rd person to do so.
Trump will be the 44th person to take the oath of office, and he will be the 45th president.
(“Memmos;” Nov. 10, 2016)
November 10, 2016