The enduring appeal of Newt Gingrich, not as a thinker or tactician but as a candidate, mystifies me. In Get Out a Cross and a Clove of Garlic, which was mainly about Al Gore, I wrote:
I was talking to a reporter the other day about Republican Presidential candidates; Newt Gingrich’s name came up, and I said that whenever anyone suggests Newt as a contender, I get out a cross and a clove of garlic. I love Newt, but the idea of bringing him back, dragging along all of the baggage that caused him to be driven from the House leadership with an approval rating about equal to Mark Foley’s, is crazy.
This is just one example of the kind of baggage I was talking about: Gingrich admits affair during Clinton impeachment probe. Liberals all over the web are going crazy over Newt’s admission–not that it was a surprise to anyone–and I don’t blame them.
Sure, it’s easy to say that Clinton’s impeachment was about perjury and obstruction of justice, not sex. What’s more, it’s true. But the last thing Republicans should have any interest in doing for the next year and a half is revisiting the Clinton impeachment saga, Gingrich’s downfall as Speaker of the House, and so on. And the less said about sex, the better.
Newt had his moment as leader of the party, but it’s over. And, frankly, it’s over in large part due to his own actions. I repeat: I like Newt as much as most conservatives do. But he should not be, and will not be, our Presidential nominee in 2008. It’s time, as the liberals say, to move on.
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