I don’t believe Newt Gingrich is a serious candidate for President of the United States. I don’t even think Newt believes he is. I think he’s running because he likes to have an opportunity to say the things that are on his mind; to pretend to speak for the American people. He’s got decades of politics under his belt with his career peaking as Speaker of the House and the public face of the Republican opposition to then President Bill Clinton. He’s also written extensively and been a prominent public figure for most of his life. Running for President is the ultimate public platform.
As Speaker of the House, Newt is probably best known as the one to stand up to the President on the budget issues that caused the longest government shutdown in our history. While this is largely seen to have helped President Clinton’s image with the American people, making him appear reasonable, with Republican’s seemingly obstinate and downright mean, Newt still credits the shutdown with the years of balanced budgets that followed.
One reason I don’t think Newt is serious about becoming President is because he’s prone to saying things that can be categorized as anywhere from head scratching to ludicrous. In a recent speech at the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, where he was trying to court Christian voters, Newt made this prediction:
“I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age (speaking of his grandkids) they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.”
How a secular atheist society can be dominated by the antithesis of a secular atheist society, radical Islam, is beyond me. Newt must see the complexity in the fabric of our society that escapes my simpler view.
His personal behavior is also a problem for him and while I don’t judge a future President on his infidelities, visiting your cancer stricken wife in the hospital to discuss the divorce you’d like because you’ve been cheating on her with your future wife is really a dick move. He also had an affair with a staffer while leading the impeachment effort against President Clinton for having an affair with Monica Lewinsky. Granted, the impeachment was about lying under oath, not actually screwing around with Monica, but the hypocrisy just drips off that one. The thing that really makes a politician, or anyone, look bad is when you can’t just admit to your mistakes in judgment because you’re human. Instead, you come up with some asinine excuse like Mr. Gingrich did:
“There’s no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”
So Newt is blaming his love of country and his work ethic for the affairs he had on his first and second wives. Again, I don’t care how many women he chooses to have sex with, it’s the lame attempts to sucking up to potential voters that I find slimy and repulsive.
Will Newt, who recently converted to Catholicism, do well with GOP primary voters? Will early primary states like Iowa, South Carolina, New Hampshire and Nevada be kind to him? I’ll put my imaginary bet on No. Any takers?