Friday, March 04, 2011

Will he run or won't he? Wading into the self-aggrandizing bullshit of Newt Gingrich

Back in January, Newt Gingrich said he'd make a decision on running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination by the end of February. Well, it took him until March 3, but actually he still hasn't decided:

Newt Gingrich said on Thursday he is "seriously" considering a 2012 presidential run and unveiled a website to explore a potential bid for the White House.

"We will look at this very seriously," Gingrich said at the state Capitol as he stood between his wife, Callista, and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.

"We will very methodically lay out the framework of what we'll do next. And we think the key is to have citizens that understand this is going to take a lot of us, for a long time, working together."

His brief comments, part of an eight-minute news conference, were an exercise in carefully chosen words — Gingrich steered clear of the phrase “exploratory committee.”

The former House Speaker is the first major Republican candidate to open such an exploratory effort.

He has created a fundraising committee, Newt Exploratory 2012 – which is different from an “exploratory committee” - to pay for activities like polling, staff and travel as he weighs a presidential campaign and the new website seeks donations. No paperwork has yet been filed by Newt Exploratory 2012 with the Federal Election Commission. He also launched a twitter feed, NewtExplore2012.

Newt this, Newt that. When you deconstruct it all, all you end up with is "self-aggrandizing bullshit." And the joke's on anyone who takes him seriously.

Because nothing has changed, allow me to quote myself from October 2009, when he was also talking about running:

Please. This is what Gingrich always does to keep his name out there, and to maintain his quasi-celebrity status on the national political scene, more with the national media than with the party leadership or base.

He's an attention whore, you see. Whenever he's not getting enough attention, he floats the "I may run for president" bullshit, knowing that the media will lap it up and put him back in the news.

And he doesn't mean it... He won't run, and never will, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that he knows he'd lose, badly. He likely wouldn't even make it out of the Republican primaries, where his pompous, self-absorbed windbaggery would put him at a disadvantage against his sucking-up-to-the extremist-base rivals. (Sure, he'd suck up, too, and he's surely an extremist of sorts, but it's hard to see Republican primary voters trusting him.)

He also knows full well that all the old dirt would come out, and a lot more we don't know about yet -- the truth about the character and conviction of Newt Gingrich -- and it's that, one suspects, that motivates any reluctance he might have to re-enter electoral politics, perhaps even more than the fear of losing...

The fact is, Gingrich enjoys a certain status on the national scene. Simply put, he is respected. Some of us find that respect seriously misplaced -- and I wish we'd dispense with the "big thinker" label for a self-aggrandizing partisan who is "big" only relative to the smallness that rules the GOP -- but the media love him, and not just the right-wing kind. And he's not about to give that up by risking the truth coming out, which it would, nor by fighting it out in the GOP gutter only to lose, which he would.

So please. Enough.

And while I'm quoting myself, let me do so again from June 2009, when I wrote about Newt's ridiculous argument that "we are surrounded by paganism":

I'm not sure Newt was being so "Christian" when he was getting blown by his various mistresses (but not, he claimed, committing adultery, because oral sex apparently doesn't count) -- or when he demanded a divorce from his first wife Jackie in her hospital room, where she was recovering from uterine cancer surgery -- or when he refused to pay alimony and child support after their divorce -- etc., etc., etc.
All that would come out again, and more. Maybe he's convinced himself that it's his time and that he could actually beat Obama -- highly, highly unlikely -- but I'm not buying it. He can't even bring himself to form an actual exploratory committee, after all, just to set up a website, and thinking "seriously" about something isn't exactly the same as actually doing it. He's not serious about running, just about keeping his name in the news and remaining a key player in the Republican Party, and I suspect we'll learn soon enough that his "framework" is just as full of shit as he is.

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