Probably should not be surprised by the continuing obsessions with former President Trump both in the GOP and mainstream media.

Trump endorses and opposes House GOP Speaker candidates.

—Hard to believe his residual influence in a body to which he does not belong and which traditionally has governed itself with only occasional deference to leaders outside it.

Former Trump attorneys and aides turn state’s evidence against him in pending trials

—Whatta ya bet Trump did not pay the bills of the attorneys? Shows increasing tendency of former Trumpers—at least outside the House—to put their own interests first.

So-called media and political pundits continue to predict Trump as 2024 GOP presidential nominee and President Biden as Dem nominee.

—Yet independent polling shows majorities of both GOP and Dem voters wanting nominees other than Trump or Biden.

Trump faces continuing legal ordeals. Biden disapproval ratings high. Both burdened by surrounding disorder and uncertainty. Am waiting for early 2024 returns from primary, caucus states to tell us the identities of likely eventual nominees. History filled with examples of early frontrunners who failed, long shots who were nominated. Waiting for actual 2024 vote counts. Many active alternative candidates in GOP. As time passe they will surface among Dems. As lifelong Dem still hoping Biden changes his mind about a re-election effort and clears the field for others.

For those who place importance on them, most current polling data show Trump-Biden running even now for 2024 or Trump with a slight edge. I do not give them importance.

Ted Van Dyk is an author and former government official with a long history of involvement in public policy and international affairs. His career includes work as an intelligence analyst at the Pentagon; as director of the Washington, D.C., public affairs office of the European Communities (now the European Union); and as a policymaker in the Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter administrations, where he coordinated U.S. foreign assistance programs. He is a lifelong Democrat currently living in his hometown of Bellingham, WashingtonWith his permission, I occasionally feature his Facebook posts. Scroll through and enjoy.