Thursday, March 3, 2011
By Alan Caruba
Fox News announced that Newt Gingrich will not be providing his observations on political events and personalities insofar as he is now regarded as running for the presidency.
Newt announced his intentions on Thursday, March 3. Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota is expected to jump in soon enough. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will and my thought at this early stage is that the Republican Party is in desperate need of a candidate who can actually win.
I always had the feeling that Sen. John McCain won the 2008 primary campaign mostly because he wasn’t one of the other candidates, one of whom was Romney. McCain crossed the aisle so often to cooperate with Democrats in the Senate that he must have worn a path there. And then he picked Sarah Palin to be on his ticket as vice president.
Please, let’s not have a repeat of that disaster. At least, in 2012, the novelty of an Afro-American candidate will have dissipated in the wake of every foot-in-mouth statement and insane public policy that a single, sitting President could accumulate halfway through his first and last term in office.
Let me say that Gingrich, intellectually, is head and shoulders above anyone else in the race. In terms of pure brain-power, he has a real grasp of most issues.
The Newt-ster, however, has some problems.
Newt’s current wife, Callista, is his third. He divorced the first two and had, shall we say, some fidelity problems. The real problem for me is an image I cannot shake from my mind, the one of Newt and Nancy Pelosi together on a couch in a television commercial discussing “climate change” and his support for the cap-and-trade scheme that would have been a huge tax on all energy use.
Politicians who get too close to the Giant Green Light of environmentalism tend to get soft in the head over critical issues. To his credit, these days Newt is talking about the need to drill for oil and repeal of the horrid Obamacare Act.
I don’t frankly trust or have much use for any politician who fell for or still speaks about “climate change.” The reason you haven’t heard much about it is that everyone short of Al Gore has disowned the hoax. And Gore even said he thought ethanol was a bad idea!
The Newt-ster arrives at his announcement with a ton of political baggage. While he is forever in the pantheon of Republican heroes for the overthrow of Democrat control of the Congress in 1994 after forty years in the political wilderness and lauded for engineering the overhaul of the federal welfare system.
He was also famously blamed for the 1995 government shutdown. That, however, was Clinton’s decision. The news media hung it on Newt. In 1997 he was censured for ethics violations and his resignation was tendered the following year. Suffice to say, his years as Speaker were difficult and one has to wonder, assuming lessons learned, whether the presidency must be even less kind were he to be elected.
I have little doubt that the Newt-ster could wipe the floor with Barack Obama in any debate. He is articulate, has a strong grasp of history from his days as a professor, and I still don’t think he can win for all the objections cited and for those that will surely jump up and bite him in the months ahead.
I long ago concluded that one has to be somewhat delusional to want to be President. There is a level of egocentricity required that most normal men lack. The Newt-ster wants to be President very badly. He has devoted every day since he first ran for public office to that goal and now, at age 67, he has to go for it or risk being too old later on.
I predict that the Obama-loving mainstream media will chew him up and spit him out. He has been through that inferno and survived, patiently writing books, building a political organization, giving speech at the right places to the right groups, but I think the Republican Party would throw him overboard the minute New Jersey Governor Chris Christie relented and said he would accept the nomination.
I like the Newt-ster. I just don’t want him to run.
© Alan Caruba, 2011