Monday, May 23, 2016


I knew that Newt Gingrich was lobbying to be Donald Trump's running mate, but I didn't realize that he'd become an extremely trusted Trump insider. National Review's Eliana Johnson reports:
Gingrich has a reputation for insinuating himself into campaigns by firing off dozens of e-mails brimming with ideas that range from brilliant to insane. While it’s a quality that has irritated previous presidential candidates such as John McCain and Mitt Romney, sources say that Trump has come to value the former speaker’s opinions.

“They talk every day,” says a source familiar with the relationship, who claims that Gingrich e-mails Trump, campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and campaign manager Corey Lewandowski “countless times a day.” On Friday, the source says Gingrich sent five messages after lunch, musing on everything from Fox host Megyn Kelly’s interview with Trump to Trump’s recently announced list of potential Supreme Court nominees to ideas for targeting Bernie Sanders’s voters.

“I think he’s viewed as a very valuable ally to have,” Rollins says.
Wow, it's like All About Eve, except with two doughy, egomaniacal old men.

Here's the creepy part:
Gingrich’s influence within Trump World is widespread. Inside Trump’s newly established campaign offices in Washington, D.C., his fingerprints are everywhere. “Right from the minute I joined we were told that Newt will have his hand in every major policy effort,” says one Trump aide. “So one of the things I do when I’m researching or writing anything, in addition to looking at what Trump has said about anything, I look at what Newt has said.”
Well, it's perfect: Trump realizes he knows nothing about politics or any of the issues presidents deal with. Gingrich has been waiting all his life for someone to treat him as the World's Foremost Authority (on politics and everything else). Trump takes Gingrich's ideas seriously and Gingrich's ego gets what it wants. Gingrich takes Trump seriously (very, very seriously) and Trump's ego gets what it wants. It's an ideal match.

If Gingrich does become Trump's running mate, it's going to be the first major-party ticket in history in which both halves are loathed by the majority of Americans. You know about Trump's unfavorable ratings, but the last time the general public was polled about Gingrich, back in 2012, he had a 60% unfavorable rating in a CNN poll, a 56% unfavorable rating in an ABC/Washington Post poll, a 67% unfavorable rating in a Fox News poll, a 58% unfavorable rating in an AP-GfK poll, and a 61% unfavorable rating in a USA Today/Gallup poll. (A CBS/New York Times poll had his unfavorables at 49%, but his favorable rating was only 17%.)

It's no surprise. Basically, he comes off as the ur-Ted Cruz, a guy you assume was a socially awkward young nerd who retreated to his bedroom, where he read sci-fi novels and Ayn Rand and dreamed of being a global (or galactic) dictator. I'm the last person who should mock people with poor social skills, but it's just not a good foundation for a career at the upper echelons of politics, unless your name is Richard Nixon. As a Democrat, I hope Gingrich is the most visible running mate since Sarah Palin. His cocksure bombasticism is not going to wear well.


John Taylor said...

It's a great fit. Newt Gingrich is an asshole so why not.

Rand Careaga said...

Sadly, it could be Trump-Gingrich, or Trump-Bachmann, or Trump-Jindal or Trump-Santorum and the ticket will still harvest somewhere north of 43% of the vote. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens are variously aching for fascism—and we're no longer crying wolf here—or prepared to accommodate themselves to it, and that should worry the rest of us whatever the outcome in November.

Joey Blau said...

Newt is a big asshole, and Trump has a small dick...
Problems in paradise?

Bruce Webb said...

My initial reaction to Newt back in the early 90's?

"Third rate historian from a fourth rate school"

I made this judgement as a second rate would be historian from a first rate History PhD program (UC Berkeley). But pretty sure my assessment was right. I knew first rate historians, I studied with first rate historians, and maybe I was never destined to be a first rate historian. But any real History program would have eaten Newt up and spit him out. As vapid and self-important (and because amphibians in general are not that tasty unless braised and served with lemon garlic butter).

Newt shares much with Paul Ryan this way. Geniuses for people who never actually were exposed to any.