Trump has only one day left to beat the record for shortest presidency ever

The countdown begins.
The countdown begins.
Image: Reuters/Joshua Roberts
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William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the US, was known for breaking two records. His inaugural address—at 8,445 words—still stands as the longest in US history. And his presidency, lasting a mere 31 days, was the shortest.

Harrison’s presidency ended with his death on April 4, 1841. Initially, researchers thought he died as a direct result of contracting pneumonia after delivering his epic address in freezing temperatures without a hat, overcoat, or gloves. Recent evidence, however, suggests Harrison may have died after contracting typhoid from the White House’s water supply, which was situated close to a marsh of human sewage.

To beat him, president Donald Trump would have to be impeached, resign, or unexpectedly die in the next 24 hours. Only three presidents in US history— Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton—have been impeached or resigned (Clinton and Johnson were later acquitted). British gamblers are betting on Trump becoming the fourth—but not within the next day.

British online site Ladbrokes has given Trump a 10/11 chance of leaving office by  impeachment or resignation within the next four years. Paddy Power, the Irish bookmaker, offers gamblers 3/1 odds that Trump will be impeached in 2017, 17/2 odds in 2018, and 16/1 odds in 2019. Gambling sites have experienced a flurry of activity following a chaotic week for Trump’s administration, which included national security adviser Michael Flynn resigning (setting a record for shortest period of time spent in the role); and his labor secretary pick withdrawing from consideration.

While Trump is the least popular new US president (paywall) in modern history, his critics will need two crucial things to impeach him: a charge of something by a House of Representatives member, and a load of Republicans voting to remove him from office. That’s as likely to happen in the next day as Trump suddenly contracting typhoid. In at least one regard then, Trump’s presidency has not been the most unconventional in history.

This story was updated to clarify Johnson and Clinton were acquitted after facing impeachment hearings.