Thursday, May 19, 2016

Newt Gingrich for Vice President?

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There's a rumor making the rounds that Newt Gingrich is not only on Donald Trump's short list of VPs, but that he is the favorite. He certainly has been making the rounds of the talking head programs talking up his buddy Trump. Trump could do a lot worse than Newtie. Of course, Newt comes with some baggage that might not set well with some women voters. So, let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of a Gingrich vice presidency.

On the plus side, Newt is really smart. He's formally educated. He's literate. He's the anti-Trump in this regard. He was the architect and prime mover behind the Contract with America which gave control of the House of Representatives to Republicans, providing balance to the Clinton profligacy, forcing him to balance the national budget, implementing welfare reforms and any number of good things whose successes Bill Clinton took credit for.

Newt knows the ins and outs of getting things done in Washington. He will surely make mincemeat out of anyone the Democrats can dig up in a VP debate. And Newt is fully qualified to assume the Oval Office if, God forbid, something should ever happen to the president. In his presidential bid in 2012, after standing up against a biased media, there was a time when it looked like Newt might take the lead, but it was short lived.* Newt would have been, IMHO, a better candidate than Mitt.

Now the negatives. Newt is not the best liked of politicians. I mentioned a week or so back that a friend of mine from high school demonstrated a visceral hatred of Newt at the mere mention of his name. She repeated the liberal narrative, that Newt had callously handed his first wife her divorce papers while she was laying a hospital bed, racked with disease. And while I don't believe the narrative is true, nonetheless, I doubt her disgust of Newt has moderated any over the years.

Then, there's the question of trade agreements. Newt mentioned just this week that he was the whip that drove NAFTA through the House. Last I heard, NAFTA was still anathema to union guys on the Left. Supposedly there are Bernie voters who talk about gravitating to Trump should Hillary prevail as the Democrat candidate. Now imagine them being asked to hold their nose and vote for a ticket with the father of NAFTA on it? That could prove problematic.

Newt is a brilliant man but he has image problems. Even though in an ideal world that shouldn't matter, in the United States of Kardashia, JFK trumps a Nixon, Reagan trumps Carter and those guys from Air Force One and Independence Day inspire confidence with their square jawed manliness. Newt looks like the kid who gets his lunch money taken away from him.

Will a ticket of two, old white men prevail over the first woman president and a designated minion to be chosen later? Ya pays your money, ya takes your chances!

*Newt and his wife Callista flew off for a vacation in Hawaii in the wake of a very successful debate, reminiscent of Evelle Younger, who, after debating Jerry Brown during his first California gubernatorial re-election bid, flew off to Hawaii with his wife, while Gov. Moonbeam stayed behind, and took to the airwaves of Sacramento radio stations to lie and misrepresent what Younger had said the night before. Both the Gingrichs and the Youngers came back sun-kissed and kissing their elections goodbye.

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