Campaigns/Elections

Pre-Emptive Reactions to Gingrich's Announcement

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Newt Gingrich plans to officially Tweet his presidential candidacy tonight. For those of you who can't wait until then, here are some pre-emptive reactions:

Steve Chapman: Ever been stuck on an airplane or at a dinner party next to a humorless, opinionated know-it-all who won't shut up? If you enjoyed that, I imagine you'll be voting for Newt Gingrich. And I'm guessing you won't have much company.

Gingrich is a fount of ideas, most of them not nearly as good as he thinks, but he is sorely lacking in some qualities Americans like to see in their presidents: sober judgment, a bit of humility, personal charm. Gingrich has none of these. On the contrary, he's a verbal flamethrower with a grating sense of his importance.

Matt Bai: He imagined himself—and, reasonably or not, still does—as a lead protagonist in the history of his own time, a consequential character in the grand American narrative.

Jonathan Bernstein: Newt did not leave the Speakership because of a personal scandal, or even because of corruption charges. His problem was that he was an awful Speaker, and his conference in the House knew it.

Dan Balz: A keen intellect can also translate into the appearance of intellectual superiority. Gingrich speaks in the language of both superlatives and the Apocalypse. Nothing is understated, including his diminishment of his opponents. That will not wear well on the campaign trail, unless Gingrich finds a way to keep himself in check.

Andy Ostroy: I for one am thrilled that Gingrich is running, as I promise to be on him like a Republican Congressman on a House page. We'll relentlessly hound him for cheating on and shamelessly dumping two ailing wives. For having an affair with his much older high school teacher and his 22-years younger aide. For asking wife #2, Marianne, to "tolerate" his tawdry affair with future wife #3 Callista in some sick, kinky open-marriage fantasy. We'll resurrect the 1982 House Banking scandal and his 22 bounced checks. We'll remind everyone of the 1984 and 1995 book scandals and dust off the GOPAC scandal and illegal use of non-profit funds for political purposes. We'll expose his family-values hypocrisy 'round the clock like a McDonald's drive-thru, and slap him so hard with his lewd past that he'll feel like he went 15 rounds with Mike Tyson.

I had planned to balance the selection with some positive comments but had trouble finding any of interest. Let me know if you see any that are worth sharing.

I criticized Gingrich's odious comments about the "Ground Zero mosque" in a column last year.