Hillary Clinton isn't know for her jokes, but she made attendees of the 2016 Al Smith charity dinner laugh when she made a jab at Donald Trump's tendency to score women by their looks: "Come to think of it, a good number for a woman: 45." While Clinton's joke was hilarious and on point, 45 actually isn't the number we should be referring to when we talk about a new president: whoever is elected will actually be the 44th President of the United States, not the 45th. Let me explain.
Grover Cleveland was first elected to the office of presidency in 1884, making him the 22nd president of the United States. Though he ran for re-election the following term, Cleveland was defeated by Republican Benjamin Harrison, the grandson to the 9th president, William Henry Harrison. But, after an unimpressive term in office, the tables were turned, and in the 1892 election, Cleveland was victorious and was once again reinstated as the President of the United States — technically, the 24th President of the United States.
So, in summation — what number will Clinton or Trump be? Whoever is elected tonight will become the 44th person to hold the office of President, but will be named the 45th President of the United States. I know... weird, but it makes sense if you think about it.
As Wall Street Journal reporter Byron Tau pointed out on Twitter, maybe we've been talking about the election wrong this whole time.