Subscribers to one of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich's email newsletters have been warned of a scenario that, to them, must seem rather frightening: President Barack Obama running for, and winning, a third term as president in 2016.
That scenario assumes a couple of things - first, that Obama wins re-election on Tuesday and, second and far more unlikely, that the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution limiting presidents to two terms in office somehow is wiped from the books.
The email from Gingrich Marketplace, which is managed by the conservative group Human Events, claimed Obama is likely to win a second term on Tuesday and then go on to win a third term that would beging in 2017 and last through 2020 despite a constitutional ban on such a thing.
"The truth is, the next election has already been decided. Obama is going to win. It's nearly impossible to beat an incumbent president. What's actually at stake right now is whether or not he will have a third-term," wrote an advertiser to subscribers of the list. The message itself was not written by the former 2012 presidential hopeful.
The email neglected to mention the 22nd Amendment, which reads in part: "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice ..."
Still, even some pundits writing in the mainstream media have raised the question of whether Obama could serve a third term, depending on world events at the time a second term would expire. Faheem Younus, a clinical associate professor at the University of Maryland and founder of the website Muslimerican.com, wrote in The Washington Post that attacking Iran could give Americans reason to keep Obama as president for a third term.
"Wartime presidents can sell a Double Whopper to a vegetarian," Younus wrote. "As the festinate decision of bombing Iran turns into a global conflict, don't expect our constitutional law professor turned president to decline his party's suggestion: if it can be ratified; it can be repealed.
"Repealing the 22nd Amendment - which some argue was never vetted publicly - is not unthinkable."
Raise your hand if you think this is going to happen.