Donald Trump has discussed in recent days the possibility of selecting former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich as his running mate, according to people familiar with the talks....Most of these names make much less sense:
On Fox News on Tuesday night, Trump said he was also considering former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. Others said to be under consideration include Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, all Republicans.Trump's not going to pick Brewer or Fallin -- he just wants their names out there to prove he isn't a sexist. He's not going to pick a governor (sorry, Chris Christie) because, even though you'd expect him to say he's so amazing that he doesn't need help passing legislation, he's made it clear that he wants someone with D.C. experience in order to get his agenda (whatever the hell it is) enacted:
“I don’t want to name anybody -- what I would most likely be looking at, and I feel like I’d be going a little bit in reverse, in other words, I’d be going for a political person. Because I don’t need a business person, I need a political person. Somebody that can deal with the hill, that can deal with Congress and get things done, get things passed, et cetera, et cetera,” he said in an interview with Breitbart News.And who better than someone who hasn't been in Congress since 1998?
I'm joking, but remember, Trump is an old guy -- when you're his age, it seems as if Gingrich was in Congress only yesterday. Never mind that 347 of the current 435 House members became members of Congress after Gingrich resigned, including Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump's rise as a celebrity was at the end of the last century, so he'd be quite comfortable with a last-century guy like Gingrich.
Gingrich has been sucking up to Trump for months:
This was a serious foreign policy speech by Trump. It is worth reading and thinking about. It will be ridiculed by Washington elites.— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) April 27, 2016
Washington elites mock Trump for mispronouncing Tanzania. They don't get it. He said the most important word correctly: America. He gets it.— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) April 27, 2016
Trump's decision to hold a serious press conference instead of a campaign speech was masterful and a great contrast to Cruz and Rubio.— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) March 2, 2016
And yet he doesn't radiate a Christie-esque desperation to please. I think Trump might see that as an ideal combination in a subordinate.
It has to be a plus for the Muslim-ban/birther guy that Gingrich was the Obama-is-a-Kenyan-anticolonialist guy. But this may be at least as important to Trump:
[Gingrich] has gone toe-to-toe with the Clintons, having helped lead the calls for former President Bill Clinton's impeachment over his marital infidelity with Monica Lewinsky.We know Trump wants to relitigate the Lewinsky scandal, so why not run with the man who litigated it in the first place?
I could be wrong. Trump might pick someone else. But this seems like a horrifyingly ideal match.
WARNING: A Trump/Gingrich ticket might seem like comedy gold, but I worry about the baffling level of respect for Newt in the mainstream media. Yes, Trump gets a lot of uncritical coverage, but there are also quite very negative stories about him. By contrast, Gingrich's World's Foremost Authority act always seems to bamboozle journalists and pundits, at least on broadcast and cable TV. Maybe this time around he won't be deferred to as the all-knowing Doctor of Thinkology. But if he gets that kind of deference again, even as a surrogate for someone who's even more of a snake-oil salesman than he is, I won't be surprised.