Monday, August 26th, 2019

Under the big top


Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (left) and James Wigderson October 26, 2010 at the Waukesha Expo Center

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is announcing he is running for president today.  I am actually a fan of Gingrich’s.  I enjoy reading his books.  I enjoy hearing him speak about history and the issues of our day.  I remember when Gingrich was trying to push the Old Guard of the House GOP out of the way so the Republicans could finally win a majority.


Unfortunately, I also remember Gingrich as Speaker of the House and how well that went. I am also aware of his many personal failings. It’s also apparent to anyone who has watched Gingrich’s career that his mind is as undisciplined as his personal behavior, and he’s capable of embracing causes that are odd for conservative Republicans.

Lack of discipline seems to be the common denominator in his life: personal, political, intellectual.

Part of me would like to believe that Gingrich would make a great president.  On the other hand, he wasn’t that great of a manager as Speaker of the House.  As the Republican Party’s nominee, Gingrich would be a disaster.

Meanwhile, my wife, the Lovely Doreen from Waukesha, and I have been getting calls from Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.  During the last election cycle my wife made a small donation to her campaign.  When I told my wife about the calls, she laughed and said Bachmann probably spent more in phone calls than my wife donated.  I said, “yeah, well, she’s running for president now, so she needs every donation she can get.”

My wife was shocked.  “No, no, no. It’s one thing to donate just to {annoy} the liberals, but president?”

Then there is former Alaska Governor and reality TV Star Sarah Palin.  I have always liked Sarah Palin.  I think she’s smart, certainly smarter than her reputation.  I think she’s right on most of the issues.  I think if she had served another term as governor before getting picked by McCain to be his running mate, we could talk about her as a serious candidate for president.

I also really enjoyed her reality television show in Alaska.  I thought it was very well done.  I think Palin is a great ambassador for her state if given the chance.

If given the chance.

Palin is such a polarizing figure there is no way the public at large will ever hear anything she says.  She’s not a politician, she’s a celebrity.  I know people objected to Palin getting paired up with Kate Gosselin on television, but they’re both reality television celebrities.  Only Gosselin is on the cover of People Magazine and Palin is on the cover of Time Magazine.

The other day there was a story linked on Yahoo about whether Sarah Palin’s daughter had her cheek bones done.  (Yes, I’m ashamed I clicked it.  And they looked to my untrained eye like they were redone.)

For all the complaining by conservatives about Barack Obama becoming president because of his celebrity status, complaints that are certainly justified, we would be doing the same thing if we nominated Palin for president.  It’s not just hypocritical.  It’s just wrong to do. It would also be a disaster.

Look, annoying the liberals is fun.  All three candidates would really, really annoy the liberals.  But they won’t help us reach our goals.  Instead of grasping the lightning rods, I’m hoping the Republican Party finds a candidate with a broader appeal.  Let’s not repeat the Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell mistakes on a presidential level.

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