Sunday, July 01, 2007

Gingrich will enter race if Thompson "proves a dud" and Clinton hits Thompson over Cuba remark

More incentive for Thompson to run a strong campaign, we can't afford to have Gingrich as our candidate. His negatives are as high as Clinton's.

Newt Gingrich is telling Republican insiders that his decision in September on whether to run for president in 2008 depends on the progress of Fred Thompson's imminent candidacy.

If Thompson runs a vigorous and effective campaign, Gingrich says privately, he probably will not get in the race. If Thompson proves a dud, however, the former House speaker will seriously consider making a run. That implies that the others in the field look to Gingrich like losers in the general election.
And we really don't know this type of hubris on the campaign trail:

Newt Gingrich might be too huge to be president.

Not in the physical sense -- though, at 64, he has taken on ballast since his frenetic phase a decade ago as speaker of the House, and he's moving these days with a purposeful waddle. But the conceptual framework of the presidency seems, well, just a tad limiting.

"The presidency is a minor post on the scale of change I'm describing," Gingrich, still the history professor, declares with a dismissive wave.

"You get to appoint a lot of ambassadors. It isn't 50 percent, it's 5 percent of the whole process. I want to make sure by the time we're done that in 511,000 elective positions" -- apparently the whole of U.S. officialdom -- "there are people who understand the 21st century, understand American civilization, and have fundamentally changed government at all levels."

He adds with a puckish grin: "And if, in that process, I become president -- that's fine."

He still has fabulous hair. It's whitening at the summit, creating a halo effect. He's gazing through wonk-tastic oblong wire-rims, and parsing the nature and scope of his ambitions, on the fourth floor of a downtown Washington office building at his corporate consulting firm, the think-tankishly-dubbed Center for Health Transformation. His desk is stacked high with brainiac books -- "World Changing: A User's Guide for the 21st Century," "Making War to Keep Peace," "The Way to Win" and a couple of dozen other weightily titled tomes.

He's plenty busy, so it's hardly surprising that he reports: "I feel good, but at this very moment I feel a little bit tired."

Gingrich Communications on the floor below handles his television appearances and daily radio commentaries, his various fiction and nonfiction book projects, his 60 paid lecture dates and the other 240 free ones, the chartered jets to whisk him there, and his for-profit Web site -- want to read all the articles Newt's research team sends him every day? Become a premium subscriber for $5.95 a month! He's also running a tax-exempt 527 political action organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future, and bouncing between satellite offices at the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution, a professorship at the National Defense University and pro-bono service on various government and academic policy panels. This doesn't include the Spanish lessons by phone. The whole thing constitutes what might be called Newt Inc. -- a multimillion-dollar enterprise that keeps three dozen camp followers gainfully employed and Gingrich earning what he terms "adequate" income in the seven figures.

"I don't have to be president," he says. "I'd be willing to be president."

Another splash of Gingrich, anyone?


I don't think we need a candidate running for an office that he dismisses so cavalierly and one that's so enamored with his own intellect.

And this quote is so transparent:
As for former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson, expected to announce a run for the presidency this week, "I think he becomes the establishment alternative," Gingrich says. "I've been fond of Fred ever since 'The Hunt for Red October.' I think he was totally convincing as an admiral."

What about Thompson's reputation for being the opposite of a workaholic? "I don't think it's a matter of working all that hard and being all that intense if he can put together a fairly bold, Sarkozy-like program," Gingrich says, referring to the just-elected center-right president of France. "Fred is not Ronald Reagan, but he could be Dwight Eisenhower." But could he have organized D-Day? "No," Gingrich chuckles, "but Eisenhower couldn't have been in 'The Hunt for Red October.' "
Way to go, using the MSM's template to paint Thompson as lazy and uninvolved.

BTW, I agree with Armey that Gingrich shouldn't have gone on Dobson's show and confessed his sin:
But former House majority leader Dick Armey, who was Speaker Gingrich's second-in-command, isn't so sure.

"Personally, I would not have gone on Dobson's show and made a confession of any kind," says Armey, who counts himself a Gingrich admirer. "My own view of the troubles of the Republican Party is that there have been many times over the years that Republicans have gotten themselves in trouble with the electorate by trying to make the Jim Dobsons of the world happy. But it isn't possible to make Jim Dobson happy. His occupation is not to be happy. Why give him what he will never receive?"

Armey claims Dobson's vaunted political influence is greatly exaggerated. "I doubt very much that Dobson can control all the votes even in his own family, let alone hundreds of thousands of votes. . . . I guess it's not outside the realm of possibility that Newt could be playing out a newfound religious conviction."
Dobson doesn't control the religious right and the candidates should stop trying to be the anointed candidate. I'm getting tired of the candidates trying to use my Christianity to get me to vote for them.

Speaking of templates, the left has to come up with something better than this. *Yawn* it's really getting old. There is nothing of substance in the article, just innuendo and insults about Thompson's appearance. I suggest in the day of the Internet where the electorate can check Thompson's voting record, his commentaries for ABC radio, his posts at Redstate and other blogs, and his speeches, this type of fluff will be rendered irrelevant.

When will the left learn that contempt and snottiness do not constitute a convincing argument? They tried this with Reagan and it didn't work then and it won't work now.

Oh, and it seems that Thompson stepped in it and Clinton was quick to jump on it:

Thompson better be careful of his rhetoric and include a nod to those who have fled Cuba in future speeches because the left will be quick to jump on any misstep he makes:
Clinton, in Florida yesterday for a candidate forum with Latino elected officials along with other top Democratic candidates, seized the opportunity to run Thompson down for the comment.

"I was appalled when one of the people running for or about to run for the Republican nomination talked about Cuban refugees as potential terrorists," she said. "Apparently he doesn't have a lot of experience in Florida or anywhere else, and doesn't know a lot of Cuban-Americans."

Florida, with a primary that has been moved up to late January, has become increasingly important in national elections. The state has a large Latino population, and many Cuban-American voters have leaned Republican.

After his Cuban comment hit the Web, Thompson - who has had healthy showings in GOP primary polls - moved to clarify it in a blog posting, saying he was referring to Cuban spies as a possible threat, not to regular immigrants.