Thursday, January 25, 2007


Yes, I'm a fan of Newt Gingrich.

Not because I think he is has a snowball's chance of being elected in 2008, but because he is such a colorful idea generator.

Newt's response to the question, "Are you running in 2008?", is to say that he's more excited to be generating ideas than to be campaigning. If in September 2007 there is no clear leader in the Republican primaries and his ideas have won a following, he will consider entering the race.

What wonderful sophistry! As though a mighty army of nerds and wonks will rise up, bear him on their shoulders down Pennsylvania Avenue, and install him in the White House by acclamation. Although, when given the choice between a old-line demagogue and Newt Gingrich, boy wizard, give me Newt.

But as Daniel Drezner points out:
Gingrich intrigues me -- he's far more complex and interesting a thinker than the nineties stereotype of him suggested. And if Hillary Clinton can remake herself as someone who's learned from past mistakes, I see no reason why Gingrich can't as well.

However, I can't shake the feeling that because I'm so interested in a Gingrich, he's doomed to fail.
UPDATE: Jim Geraghty, over at The Hillary Spot has this to say about long-shot Newt:

Newt Gingrich: I’ll just note that for those of us annoyed by the state of American discourse – where “Make America a better place to live, work and raise a family,” is taken seriously as a message for a campaign — a Gingrich presidency would instantly make our national dialogue at least fifty percent smarter.

(You have to love a candidate who, when asked by a snotty teen at an MTV forum whether he wears “Boxers or briefs?” responds, “That is a very stupid question, and it's stupid for you to ask that question.” The only way it could have been better is if he made the little punk cry.)

Long before the tech world was contemplating the $100 laptop as a possible solution to alleviate world poverty, Newt was thinking out loud about giving laptops to the homeless. Newt seems like the kind of guy who has twelve ideas before breakfast every morning, and at least some of them are likely to be good ones.

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