Saturday, September 29, 2007

Newt Is Not Running

The reason is simple: The job isn't big enough.

Newt Gingrich’s decision not to pursue the presidency was announced today by a spokesman who explained the former Speaker will deal with “the challenges America faces and finding solutions to those challenges” as chairman of his tax-exempt organization instead.

It’s not that the White House isn’t a pleasant place to live with good perks, but Gingrich would have to give up his tax-free empire, his think tank, his Fox News contract as a commentator, the $40,000 speaking gigs and so much more he now enjoys without all the headaches of actually doing something.

In addition, if Newt had decided to go for it, there would have been pesky reporters asking about his shutting down the government in 1995, impeaching Bill Clinton for office sex while carrying on his own affair and, later, having to pay a $300,000 fine by the House ethics committee.

All that plus the travel, the hand-shaking, the debating with the likes of Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo would have been degrading to a visionary.

Actually, "the presidency is a minor post on the scale of change I'm describing," Gingrich explained to the Washington Post in July.

Instead he will follow the example of Benjamin Franklin. “He didn't think he was less than Washington or Jefferson,” Gingrich the historian explains. “He was deliberately eclectic and deliberately complex, and happy to be so.

“He was pretty interesting. If you had told him, 'If you could have been simple, you could have been president,' he would have said, 'That's pretty stupid.'"

No one will ever accuse Newt Gingrich of being simple.

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