The Washington Post

Gingrich campaign, end the suffering

Speaking of the laws of presidential physics, another person who thinks he can defy them is Newt Gingrich. Despite being hammered by near-daily calamitous campaign news, the former House speaker continues with a bid for the Republican nomination that is just this side of sad.

On May 11, Gingrich announced his run. On May 30, he was enjoying a weeklong cruise of the Greek isles with his wife. On June 9, his senior campaign staff and staffers in Iowa and South Carolina walked out on him. On June 21, his two top campaign fundraisers bolted. Kinda difficult to run for president when the team you had quit because you’re wasting its time. (And I haven’t even mentioned the hobbling effects of slamming Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan or the revelation yesterday of a second line of credit at Tiffany’s.)

One of the tenets of the laws of presidential physics is that outsized power in a national leadership post while being a lawmaker from a tiny district does not automatically translate to presidential prowess. Remember, despite being third in line in presidential succession as speaker of the House, Gingrich has never run for anything larger than representative of his congressional district. Having such power can warp one’s thinking of one’s abilities to succeed on a larger stage. A version of this plays out in New York from time to time. Every New York mayor since John Lindsay who tried to take his talent to the top job in Albany or one in Washington failed miserably.  Gingrich is failing miserably now.

In the 1999 movie “The Sixth Sense,” Haley Joel Osment plays Cole Sear, a 9-year-old who can see dead people. These no-longer-living types wander about because they haven’t come to terms with being dead. He tries to help them resolve their issues so they can rest in peace. The Gingrich for president campaign needs a Cole.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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