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Is the next stop for Speaker Mike Johnson the White House?

by David Specht

When Speaker of the House Mike Johnson assumed the role as the third-highest-ranking official in the nation not too long ago, the move left many bewildered—yet, count me out of that group. While some questioned how this “unknown” figure from northwest Louisiana swiftly climbed the political ladder, those of us who know him harbored no doubts. Johnson has consistently ascended throughout his entire career, leaving us to ponder, “How high can Johnson climb?”

From his beginnings as a Constitutional attorney to his roles as a state representative and Congressman in remarkably quick succession, I’ve closely observed Johnson’s journey. Despite his mild demeanor, his political ambition has proven formidable, serving him well in the realm of politics.

Having secured his State Representative seat and initial term as a Congressman uncontested, Johnson remains undefeated at the ballot box. The question lingering in the air is whether the White House might be his next destination.

Consider this hypothetical scenario: former President Donald Trump secures the Republican nomination this year, a strong likelihood unless legal challenges intervene. The alliance between Trump and Johnson, though attemptedly exploited by detractors, has been evident in Johnson’s recent visits to Mar-a-Lago.

Should Trump emerge as the GOP’s nominee, the next chess move could involve him persuading Johnson to join him as his running mate. Given the GOP’s slim majority in the House of Representatives, the Democrats could potentially reclaim control, jeopardizing Johnson’s position as Speaker. Faced with this looming threat, Johnson might seize the opportunity to transition to the executive branch as Vice President.

In the event these maneuvers transpire, the following step would be the general election, potentially culminating in a Trump victory. While far from a certainty, it undeniably stands as a plausible outcome. Yet, the ascent doesn’t conclude there.

By law, Trump would be limited to one term, offering Johnson four years to solidify his national credentials. However, an alternate scenario presents itself: if Trump were to win the presidency but, for unforeseen reasons, be unable to complete his term, Johnson would ascend to the presidency without facing a national election.

Witnessing Johnson defy the skeptics and emerge as a political force has been undeniably captivating. Regardless of one’s political stance, underestimating him would be a grave error. Johnson’s climb is far from reaching its pinnacle, and the intrigue surrounding his future continues to unfold.

David Specht is president of Specht Newspapers, Inc., publisher of BIZ. Magazine, Bossier Press-Tribune, and Minden Press-Herald.

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