Just Run Already!
I don’t know if I can bear to read another detailed exposition of the various professional and political calculations that Newt Gingrich says he must make early next year, before deciding whether to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Just run already! The latest iteration in what has become an increasingly annoying quadrennial publicity ritual for Gingrich comes courtesy of Mike Allen at Politico.com, and marks the release of Gingrich’s new book/manifesto on how to stop the Obama Administration in its tracks. The fact that I already knew Gingrich's wife is named Callista is a pretty good indication that we’ve been down this road many times before.
I have written previously about how Gingrich uses the lure of a potential presidential run to keep himself in the national media’s mix of daily political coverage. My guess is that Gingrich knows he has no chance of winning the nomination. But he is a sufficiently colorful character with enough reputational clout in the party that his episodic flirtation with a run ensures that reporters will keep tabs on his frequent political musings. This time, however, Gingrich sweetened the deal a bit with the bold prediction that President Obama has only a 20 percent chance of winning reelection. It seems a little premature to make that kind of projection, but it is precisely the sort of rhetorical gamesmanship that keeps both journalists and members of the party’s conservative base coming back for more.
Note: I'll be away tomorrow, and back posting on Friday. -Dean
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