Friday, May 28, 2010


There's been a lot of talk about Newt Gingrich running for president in 2012.

He's an interesting candidate. He might be the only legitimate candidate able to unite the disparate elements of the Republican Party. He could probably keep the Teabaggers in line (in his mouth?), could convince the super-wealthy to play along, and appeal to the racists and social conservatives. Certainly he can raise a tremendous amount of money. He is charismatic enough to be in Obama's league. He has huge name recognition.

So Gingrich could be formidable. However, I feel there are 2 big strikes against him becoming the Republican nominee. First, he shares a big similarity with Sarah Palin--both have used their conservative credentials to become very rich. Does Gingrich want to give up the business side of his life in order to run for president? He's talked about running for president ever since 1996. And it's never happened. Why? You can't tell me the timing was never right--it was in 96 and it was in 08. So I'm not convinced he'll do it despite his frequent dropping of hints.

Second, Gingrich has no discipline. He makes Joe Biden look Obama-esque by comparison. Gingrich has remained in the public eye by saying a lot of outrageous things. If he does win the nomination, how will him calling Obama's administration "secular-socialist" go over? I'm not sure that kind of rhetoric is going to serve him well in a general election. Gingrich recently compared Obama to the Nazis, which not only makes no sense, but is greatly insulting to everyone who suffered under that horrible regime. Even Republicans called him out over it and now he's been forced to back down. I think we can all expect a great deal more extremist rhetoric coming from Gingrich's mouth before November 2012 that will make him unelectable, at least barring a second economic collapse.

There's also the fact that he was one of the most ineffective and disastrous Speakers of the House in history, but that's another story altogether.