CM commented today that the lack of Republican contenders that have declared so far has made the incumbent the prohibitive favorite. Tomorrow the heaviest of heavy weights (yes, he could lose a few pounds) will make it official:
In the 13 years since he suffered a string of political setbacks and quit the third most powerful job in Washington, Newt Gingrich has been busily laying the foundation for a comeback to an even grander perch.
Now, as Mr. Gingrich prepares to launch a run for president as early as this week, this network of advocacy and for-profit groups is providing a publicity and policy machine without parallel among his likely Republican rivals, few of whom have stirred excitement among donors and activists.
His network has amassed more than 1.7 million voter and donor contacts and raised $32 million between 2009 and 2010—more than all his potential 2012 rivals combined
Newt Gingrich at the New Hampshire Republican Party's 'Live Free or Die Speaker Series'
You knew it was coming, the 800lb gorilla (again with the weight, quit it) is going for the brass ring. And if you read further in the article you can see that this guy has been everywhere, hitting up everyone for money. And Newt. Inc. has it’s hand in many pies.
But here is the question, does the smartest guy in the room have the goods? Can he sweet talk his way out of the ethics violations he was forced to resign over:
During Gingrich’s term as Speaker, eighty-four ethics charges were filed against him, most of which were leveled by House Democratic Whip David Bonior. Eighty-three of the eighty-four allegations were dropped.
The remaining charge consisted of two counts “of failure to seek legal advice” and one count of “providing the committee with information which he knew or should have known was inaccurate” concerning the use of a tax exempt college course for political purposes. To avoid a full hearing, Gingrich and the House Ethics Subcommittee negotiated a sanctions agreement, which Democrats accused Gingrich of immediately violating. Nonetheless, the agreement was forwarded to the House for approval. On January 21, 1997, the House voted 395 to 28 to reprimand Gingrich, including a $300,000 “cost assessment” to recoup money spent on the investigation. This was the first time in the House’s history that the Speaker had been disciplined for ethics violations.
Or the abysmal way he treated his current wives, cheating on them all the while waving his finger at Clinton, scolding him for his marriage infidelities with that chubby intern.
Even a cursory glance at his wiki page illustrates an illustrious political career, jammed packed with more political feathers in cap then 99% of most political candidates. As a Foxnews contributor who is on more than any other candidate, even Palin (more on her in a minute), I am always impressed with his expertise. Even when I think he is wrong, I admire the methods in which he crafts his arguments.
In January the WSJ literally ripped Newt a new one for his ethanol lobbying (rare that the official paper of conservative thought would rip into the then leading GOP contender, but there you are) and it was at that point that I realized Newt was fish bait. But money talks, so there goes his hat into the ring.
For my own two cents, Newt has entered Palin territory, or vice verse, his negatives are too great. He would cut up Obama in any legitimate debate, but he would be marginalized to a caricature by both the MSM and the take no prisoners political machine of the DNC. Palin as well, I hope she is makes a boat load of cash with all her public appearances and book signings, but if both really want to help the GOP, they should accept their limitations and back someone who can actually win.
So are there any Newt supporters out there? Am I missing the forest for the trees? I made a comment last week that it appears the GOP might as well concede the 2012 presidential race and focus on some legislative opposition, am I wrong?