“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Is Gingrich Preparing To Run For President?

For several years, I've wondered if Newt Gingrich was contemplating a run for president. He's been a frequent guest on numerous Fox News programs, giving him a pretty reliable, consistent perch from which to keep his public profile high.

He also has been busy for years with a public policy foundation, and now has a few websites devoted to various issues.

But something about his recent appearances, and the health care bill fight, lead me to believe that Newt has, privately, pretty much decided to take the plunge next year.

First, he's lost a lot of weight. Gingrich was never trim, but after resigning the Speaker's post, he really ballooned. That was way back before 2000.

In the decade or so since, initially out of the limelight, Gingrich bulked up. Even a year ago, he was pretty portly.

Recent photos have him much trimmer in the stomach, and his face is noticeably thinner.

His remarks concerning the current administration and Democratically-controlled Congress, have taken on a more august, presidential tone.

As a former Speaker of the House, and the first in decades to have brought down a powerful sitting Speaker of the other party, and reversed that party's large majority, Gingrich has unique, valuable federal government experience.

Much more so than the typical Senator who runs for president. Certainly far more than Wonderboy or, really, even McCain. As Speaker, Gingrich was second in line for the presidency, and responsible for running the House, which has the real power of the purse in our government.

Thus, the recent shift in his tone brings his considerable knowledge, as a PhD in history, to bear in a more reasoned, effective manner.

Of course, there are still two major questions that even conservatives need Gingrich to answer, before he can probably gain their trust and votes. Loosely phrased, they are:

1. How can we believe you have changed from the person who cheated on his wife who was dying of cancer?

2. How can we believe you've matured after your temper tantrum on Air Force One during the Clinton years?

If Gingrich is serious about running, he has those replies worked out by now. It would be understandable and acceptable for him to simply state that he's learned from his mistakes, attribute them to a first brush with power and fame, and say that he's moved on from those errors.

Maybe he can get some quality time with Tiger Woods this weekend in Augusta to get some help with the details?

In any case, if I felt Gingrich had adequately handled those two issues, there is literally no single candidate I'd personally prefer to win the Oval Office in 2012 than Newt Gingrich. His command of the broadest sweep of national policy issues, his prior experience as Speaker, and as the guy who orchestrated the 1994 GOP takeover of the House, make him an invaluable resource to lead our country.

Further, I believe he's not, at heart, a Federalist. He'd be the one President you could trust to work to limit federal power and begin Constitutionally enshrining a repeal of the last hundred years of Progressive shredding of that document.

Because he wasn't my Representative, I tend to forget that Gingrich did manage to win election campaigns. He's not a stranger to that.

Seeing him on the national GOP stage, running for president, would be a treat. I can't imagine anyone, including Hickabee, even coming close to Gingrich's command of facts and history, policy prescriptions, and sensibility.

Two years ago, I'd have thought this was a joke. Even a year ago, I didn't think he could win.

Now, I do.

And that's no April fool.

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