Friday, January 14, 2011

Gingrich shows up in South Carolina, presidential speculation runs amok

"Gingrich visits South Carolina as presidential decision looms," headlines McClatchy, suggesting that he may very well "toss his hat in the ring for the chance to challenge President Barack Obama next year":

"I'm looking at making a decision by the end of February," Gingrich said. "I'm trying to methodically see if it's possible and if there's enough support to make sense out of it."

Oy. This again? Allow me quote myself from October 2009:

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.

Yes, enough -- though, to McClatchy's credit, the article isn't fawning and instead delves into Newt's sordid past and notes how difficult it would be for him to win. 

Which is a welcome change from the usual media infatuation with this massively egotistical blowhard.

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