RUN, NEWT, RUN!
I've decided to make an early endorsement of Newt Gingrich
, who is not yet officially declared
, for the GOP 's 2008 nomination for President of the United States. Why am I doing this ?
It's not because Newt's earlier quasi-libertarian, Toffler-futurist, conservatism meshed well with my own views, though it did. It's not because Newt is likely to win the presidency, he's a long shot at best even for the Republican nomination. I'm not endorsing him simply because he's a historian, drinks Guinness
, likes paleontology and writes book reviews on Amazon.com
- though these are all fine things in my view.
I'm endorsing Gingrich simply because it will be healthy to have a candidate on stage who actually reads books and takes ideas with enough seriousness to effectively communicate them to a mainstream audience. Win or lose, Gingrich's intellectual presence and inclination toward impulsive, rhetorical bomb-throwing will disrupt the hyperscripted performance of everyone else, something that will be all to the good. Frankly, I want
to see all hell break loose on national television in such a way that the candidates might blurt out what they actually believe. Create enough of a media firestorm and all the Democratic candidates will have to respond as well.
Gingrich has the luxury of a win-win scenario. At a minimum, running a serious race raises Newt's media profile, his influence and his future income stream from lectures and books; at maximum, lightning may strike and Gingrich could end up on the national ticket or at least resume his place as a powerbroker inside the Republican Party. He does not need to adopt the cautious, mannequin-like, " frontrunner" posture that turns so many voters off to politicians. Gingrich can simply have fun.
Chances are, when Newt is long gone from the race, the ideas he bombastically injected into the body politic will still be very much part of the debate - much to the discomfort of the actual nominees.