In recent weeks, the Trump-wary congressman split with the Republican Party to identify as an independent; he’s been criticized by his closest colleagues and developed a pumped-up physique that has people asking whether his new workout routine is about getting camera ready for a third-party presidential run.

“It’s obviously something that is realistic,” Amash said, over dinner in a crowded bar in late August. “If someone were to do something like that, there’s obviously a good chance it would be me. . . It’s something I could decide to do.”…

He’s positioning himself as someone who can splash cool water on a system that burns with partisan rancor. And he might be. But he also might be trying to put out fires he helped set in the first place.

“I used to be more inclined to think Democrats are bad; Barack Obama is uniquely bad or whatever,” Amash said. “Over time, I’ve come to see I was too harsh in many ways. I feel like I’m a better person today.”