We can't help but be amused — more than five years after Donald Trump descended the golden escalator at Trump Tower to announce his presidential candidacy — that the national media and elected officials can still be sent into orbit by a word or two that comes out of the president's mouth.
The most recent example was the president's suggestion Wednesday that there might be a "continuation" instead of a peaceful transfer of power after the election.
When that one word got out, Trump's critics and even some in his party rushed to berate him. We imagine the president just smiled and said to anyone around him, "Got 'em again."
We can't imagine reading the president's mind — who could? — but we suspect his use of the word "continuation" was uttered given the distinct possibility that the election won't be decided on Election Day, or the day after that, or the day after that.
The fact that it potentially could be close is one thing. The fact that many thousands of mail-in ballots will be used is another. With states and courts daily making different pronouncements about whether and how many of such ballots will be allowed, the opportunity for an Election Day pileup is almost a certainty.
With mail-in ballots holding the biggest potential for fraud of all voting mechanisms, according to a previous presidential commission, we can envision the possibility of lawsuits being filed and the results in various states — and, thus, their electoral votes — being held up for weeks.
Trump, we believe, was referring to the period after Nov. 3 and before Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2021, when in all likelihood something will be determined. If the presidency is not decided before Inauguration Day, and the Supreme Court hadn't gotten involved up to that point, who knows? That's truly new territory.
Joe Biden, the president's Democratic opponent, is among those who apparently haven't learned not to take every word Trump says seriously.
"Look, he says the most irrational things," a flummoxed Biden said of the "continuation" comment. "I don't know what to say."
On a radio show Thursday, Trump was asked whether he would agree if a Supreme Court decision said Biden won the race.
"Oh, that I would agree with," he said, "but I think we have a long way before we get there."
If a transfer of power comes, we hope those fearful Trump will stay on would go back in their closet and remain locked behind the door with the group — perhaps equal in number — who swore Obama was going to suspend the Constitution and serve a third term. At least for another four years.