Newt Gingrich is making noises about running for President. Again. Which is becoming a staple of presidential election cycles. One almost as predictable as exit polling and those red state/blue state electoral maps on election night.
But let’s face it, as much as Newt may have accomplished for the limited government cause while leading Republcians in Congress back in the 1990’s, he’d be a terrible candidate for President.
First, he’s old news. If there’s anything that could throw a wet blanket on the flames of the tea party movement it’s a national ticket headed by a Republican retread from a bygone era. There’s no doubt that Republicans have the momentum going into these midterms, and that the momentum will probably continue into the 2012 elections with President Obama (who I’m assuming will be as unpopular then as he is now, if not more so) at the top of the ticket. But Republicans should also keep in mind that what is killing Democrats now could also be their swift downfall.
In 2006 and 2008, American voters weren’t voting for Democrats. They were voting against duplicitous, scandal-plagued Republicans. Democrats won by default, and carried on as though they had a national mandate to pursue a far-left liberal agenda. They didn’t, and now the piper is calling for his bill to be paid.
But that doesn’t mean that electorate is ready to resurrect the old Republican majorities that were first won by Newt Gingrich and company. What’s driving the tea party movement isn’t a desire to see Republicans back in power. What’s driving the movement is more than just any group of issues. The movement is being drive by dissatisfaction over the way we’re being governed.
Candidate Newt would only be seen as a throwback to a previous age of dissatisfaction.
Second, Newt has a lot of personal baggage. He divorced his first wife (also his former geometry teacher) after starting an affair with another woman. He negotiated some of the details of their divorce while his first wife was in the hospital with cancer. Gingrich then cheated on his second wife with the woman who would eventually be his third wife (and who is nearly 20 years younger than he is) in an affair that took place during the Clinton impeachment hearings.
Let’s be honest about what Newt’s “serious” consideration of a presidential run is. It’s about selling Newt Gingrich books, and stirring up interest in whatever PAC or non-profit Newt is pushing at the moment.
Newt’s flirtations are the political equivalent of an aging professional wrestler promising a comeback match, when really the promise of said match ends up being a lot of talking from sidelines. Nothing more than a ploy to sell tickets and merchandise.
Bill Clinton once told an audience in Philadelphia, "You know one of the things that's wrong with this country? Everybody gets a chance to have their fair say." It was intended as a humorous response to a crowd of hecklers who was giving him fits as he tried to deliver a speech, but it's not hard to imagine that Democrats have taken that sentiment to heart of late.
North Dakota’s Senator Kent Conrad is the top Democrat in Congress on fiscal issues. He’s a self-styled “deficit hawk” who likes to perpetrate an illusion of being this independent voice for fiscal sanity in a national capital that has lost its mind on deficits and debt.