Newt Gingrich for President?
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich considers himself among the top Republican prospects for the 2012 presidential election
Newt Gingrich, who has seemingly not-quite-been-running for president for more than a decade tells reporters that he’s among the hot prospects for 2012.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wednesday he considers himself among the top Republican prospects for the 2012 presidential election, adding that he believes there will be plenty of GOP options for voters to consider.
“I think I’m probably on a list of seven or eight possible candidates at this stage,” Gingrich said. “We have a lot of people around the country who would like to have somebody who represents a commitment to replace the current failed programs and to develop a set of solutions that are practical and workable.”
Gingrich listed several current and former goverors who he thinks might enter the race. They include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. He said he will discuss his possible candidacy with his wife early next year before making a decision about whether to run.
Gingrich also suggested that governors Mitch Daniels from Indiana, Haley Barbour from Mississippi, Rick Perry from Texas and Bobby Jindal from Louisiana, as well as South Dakota Sen. John Thune could run.
Despite his considerable personal baggage — which I believe would doom him as a candidate, since he’s a “family values” conservative — I’ve always found Gingrich an engaging figure. He’s genuinely an intellectual, something that’s been sorely missing among recent Republican candidates, but he demonstrated during his tenure as Speaker that he’s not a very good manager. Ergo, he’d be a lousy president even if he could get elected.
The omission of Mitt Romney from Gingrich’s list is interesting, as I consider him the hands-down frontrunner. He’s already got a strong organization and was the runner up to McCain last go-round. (Technically, Huckabee shamelessly stayed in the race several months after it was over and pulled slightly ahead in the delegate count. But nobody who paid attention was fooled by that.) I’m not a huge fan, but he’s the man to beat.
I continue to think that, despite the Palin buzz, the most likely Republican candidate is a governor or former governor. I had an interesting discussion Tuesday with Riehan Salam, who’s touting former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, about whom I know very little. But someone like that — without a lot of Washington insider baggage — is most likely to capitalize on the anti-incumbent sentiment that’ll likely be at a boil next year.