Friday, April 19, 2013

Newt Gingrich: Elder Statesman and Comedy Script


COMMENTARY | Isn't he in hiding, now that taxpayers will no longer supply him with bodyguards? ... He will paint himself green and try to destroy the election with a little dog? ... Or a small penguin? ... Jail. ... Suicide. .... Why? ... Pillsbury Dough Boy gig? ... Fox News? Mitt Romney Campaign? Wherever he wants. ... Time for a new wife and a family values book tour.
Newt Gingrich has took a long time to  end  his somewhat quixotic bid to be President of the United States. The thoughts above are among the responses received when I posted the question, "Where do you think Newt Gingrich will go from here?" on my Facebook page. 
But some analysts say that we haven't heard the last of the man whose first name is also used to describe an amphibian reptile. 
However, Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said it was too early to discuss what Gingrich might do in the future. "Politics is one of those funny businesses where people end up deciding at the end, not the pundits," Hammond said. "Newt Gingrich has spent his entire career proving pundits wrong. I'm sure he'll be happy to do so again."
What could Newt's future in electoral politics possibly look like? On the one hand, The man has good ideas and broad government experience that would normally place a person in a cabinet position. This is a possibility because Mitt Romney has a clear chance to beat Barack Obama. The polls are close. Also, Newt is generally well-spoken and has deep Washington ties and experience.
But then Newt's crazy side comes in to question. Which Newt would show up to the Romney White House? The one who promised a colony on the moon, with Mars next in line? Would we see the Newt whose play to Southern racists backfired? Blacks are not the only people who use food stamps. Then there are his family (ahem) values.For the last 30 years, the thrice-married former speaker of the House has had to fend off inquiries and attacks about his splits from former wives, amid tawdry accusations of abuse and infidelity. 
Nonetheless, one thing is clear, we haven't heard the last of Newt. He can always sell books, speak at universities and appear on television. Fox News would have a spot for him. Newt is a controversial, polarizing figure, exactly the type of person who drives media ratings. 
Will he run again for president, or another political office? Perhaps. That would be the easiest way to retire his millions of dollars in campaign debt. Whatever Newt decides to do, two things are certain: 1) He will be a player on the political stage; 2) his story will continue to provide punchlines for late-night talk show hosts and Internet message boards.

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