So… Newt Gingrich, conservative architect of the 1994 Republican Revolution, has tossed his hat into the GOP primary ring. It’s amazing that there was any space left in the ring for his hat to land on.
Back then, I admired Gingrich for his ability to make “gutsy calls” on issues that resonated well with the conservative base. His star faded, however, as the GOP-led Congress failed to deliver much of anything in the way of reform.
If he had run in 1996, he might have had a decent chance at the nomination, even with the brutal treatment he was receiving at the hands of Democrat allies in the media. Certainly, he would have energized GOP voters much more than Bob Dole did.
Since then, he has popped up in the news from time to time, and mostly for the wrong reasons. For example:
- His controversial divorces and remarriages (now on wife #3). Call me old fashioned, but I wonder about the character of a man who supposedly has a strong faith in God, but twice deliberately broke vows made to Him. In both of his divorces, he already had a replacement lined up before the soon-to-be-ex-wife knew anything was up. I wonder what Callista was thinking when Newt did his “vows” the third time. When Gingrich starts courting conservative voters, what shall we make of his promises?
- He conceded nearly every Democrat talking point on global warming (parting with the Dems only in proposing free-market remedies). Four years later, Gingrich (who is no more qualified to pontificate on climate issues than Al Gore is) remains proud of the stands he’s taken.
- He endorsed Dede Scozzafava in a special election for a NY congressional seat, publicly scolding Republicans who thought the nomination should go to someone whose views should align more closely with the GOP than with the Dems.
So what does he bring to the table now that makes him think this is his time?