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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 12:08 PM ET, 05/11/2011

No, we don’t have to take Newt seriously

Newt Gingrich? For president? C’mon. He is Sarah Palin without the strong core of enthusiastic fans — and with a marital history worse than that of John Edwards. There’s no real chance that he’s going to be the Republican nominee for president.

Just to refresh everyone’s memories: Newt did not leave the Speakership because of a personal scandal, or even because of corruption charges. His problem was that he was an awful Speaker, and his conference in the House knew it. Newt did one thing brilliantly in his career, which was hogging the credit for the 1994 landslide, and because few saw it coming he managed to retain a reputation for working magic for a few years. But eventually, those who had to work with him tired of it, and that was the end of that.

In fact, Newt had relatively little to do with 1994. He does deserve some credit for helping to recruit strong candidates. But if any politicians deserve credit for producing that GOP landslide, the two key figures were Bob Dole — who invented the idea of filibustering all major presidential initiatives — and Bill Clinton, who suffered through a poorly run transition and a rocky first year and was still paying the price for that in 1994.

I suspect, although I don’t know, that most Washington Republican know all of this, and have no interest in having this perpetually unpopular snake oil salesman as the face of the GOP. Voters have never really taken to Newt (they are apparently not as easily duped as the press corps by his “ideas”), and there’s just no precedent at all for anyone remotely similar winding up as a major contender for the presidency. No, we don’t have to take him seriously.

By  |  12:08 PM ET, 05/11/2011

 
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