Saturday, September 29, 2007



Newt Gingrich's contentious, polarizing tenure as Speaker of the House from 1995-1999 has left his name in the consciousness of many Americans, mostly with highly negative connotations. The first most people ever heard of Gingrich was in connection to the word "bomb-thrower" and it didn't get much better as time went on with him becoming the face of right-wing obstructionism and of right-wing hypocrisy. He still lusts for... whatever it is that drives politicians to seek higher office. And he doesn't want his main role in the 2008 cycle to be that of the man who named the GOP contenders "a pathetic bunch of pygmies." Today CNN reported that he has definitively decided to not run for the presidency. Yesterday, everyone else reported that he had decided to run.

The NY Times explained that with the DOA candidacy of Frederick of Hollywood a complete bust, Gingrich has been easing towards an announcement that, despite incredibly high negative ratings, he will run as the conservative who can beat the hated Giuliani (if not Hillary, Obama or Edwards). Monday he'll kick off a website that seeks to raise $30 million in grassroots money for a campaign. He says he'll run if he reaches that goal before Halloween, a night that will be scary for many but certainly not for any of the Democrats seeking the presidential nomination-- at least not due to Gingrich.

In some ways Gingrich's well-known personal hypocrisy, his abysmal polling numbers, his right-wing extremism, his abrasive personality are perfect for the Democrats. Gingrich will certainly make mincemeat out of the mental midgets Romney, Giuliani and Thompson and mincemeat out of poor senile McCain; but, except for hard core Republican partisans, American voters won't take him seriously.

Gingrich tried to inoculate himself against all the personal problems by going on hands and knees to right-wing religionist politician Jimmy Dobson. And he is now widely viewed as Dobson's anointed one-- although that seems to have done more harm to Dobson than good for Gingrich. Dobson regularly and viciously eviscerates all the other Republican contenders and has made himself a hated man inside the Party of Hatred. And no one outside of the religionist nutcakes has changed their minds about Gingrich's long life of what right-wingers refer to as "prurient past personal peccadilloes." Hillary's advisors are salivating at the prospect of Gingrich as opponent; it would certainly remove the Republican threat of using her husband's randiness against her.

National Review, a far right propaganda rag, has come out squarely against Gingrich's running, claiming it will lead to a Giuliani victory, something no serious conservative contemplates without a shudder of horror.
[T]he late entry of such a controversial conservative candidate to the presidential field wouldn’t benefit the Republican party, or the Republic. There are already three top-tier candidates-- Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and John McCain-- contending to be the conservative alternative to Rudy Giuliani. With the support he manifestly enjoys among the grassroots, Gingrich would take his share from those conservatives unwilling to back Giuliani. But it’s extremely unlikely he could win the nomination. Legitimate reservations about his electability, his lack of executive experience, and his troubled tenure as Speaker would limit his appeal. Slicing up the considerable conservative vote into smaller shares would not, needless to say, advance the ideas he champions.

The most recent poll on the matter, Rasmussen's, last month, was clear: the majority of Americans hold an unfavorable opinion of Gingrich. 54% give him the thumbs down and only 37% see him in  a favorable light. The same poll showed Hillary's favorables far outstripping his and her negatives, while formidable thanks to years and years of right-wing brainwashing, not nearly as bad as Gingrich's. And this is before the vicious campaigns of Full O' Mitt and Giuliani get to remind American voters about the 3 wives, the 84 ethics charges, the admission of guilt, the fines, the perjury, the constant in-fighting and vicious bickering within the GOP caucus (leading, of course, to a resignation from the Speakership and from Congress, and to political disgrace). Most Americans remember a bad odor attached to Gingrich. Wait til Romney starts writing checks to propaganda firms to remind people exactly why they don't like Newt!


AP is reporting that the Newtster is outster. I bet Hillary is more disappointed than anyone! One of the least ethical men to have ever wormed his way into high office, says there are ethical problems with him running. You think?
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will not run for president in 2008 after determining he could not legally explore a bid and remain as head of his tax-exempt political organization, a spokesman said Saturday.

"Newt is not running," spokesman Rick Tyler said. "It is legally impermissible for him to continue on as chairman of American Solutions (for Winning the Future) and to explore a campaign for president."

...Just last week, Gingrich said he had given himself a deadline of Oct. 21 to raise $30 million in pledges for a possible White House bid, acknowledging the task was difficult but not impossible.
He abruptly dropped the idea Saturday, apparently unwilling to give up the chairmanship of American Solutions, the political arm of a Gingrich's lucrative empire as an author, pundit and consultant.

American Solutions, a tax-exempt committee he started last October, has paid for Gingrich's travel and has a pollster and fundraiser on staff. The outfit has raised more than $3 million, mostly from two benefactors who each gave $1 million: Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., and North Carolina real estate developer Fred Godley.

Gingrich makes hundreds of speeches each year, many paid. He will not say how much he charges, and neither will the Washington Speakers Bureau, which books him. But some clients have said they paid $40,000 for a speech.

He also has a contract with Fox News for commentaries and specials; Fox said it does not disclose the terms of its contracts. Gingrich also is a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

So which one of the pathetic pygmies™ will he endorse and campaign for?

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At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I somewhat agree with the sentiment that a Newt run would be the best thing possible for the Democrats, and that the Democrats could run a ham sandwich against Newt and walk away with it.

Still, I'm hoping he doesn't end up as the Repub nominee. He needs to be as distant as possible from the levers of power, and the nomination would put him within a shady election of the presidency. Shudder.

Then again, I feel that way about the rest of the Repub hopefuls, pretty much. This is going to be a wild ride of an election.


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