"Today I am announcing my candidacy for president of the United States," read Wednesday’s Twitter post from the former House Speaker.
"There’s a much better American future ahead with more jobs more prosperity, a better health system, longer lives, greater independent living and a country that is decentralized under the 10th Amendment with power once again back with the American people and away from the Washington bureaucracy," he chirped on a YouTube video that struck a Reaganesque post and concluded with the declaration. "We’ve done it before. We can do it again."
Then he went on Fox and attacked President Obama and the Democrats as "people who don’t mind if America becomes a wreck as long as they dominate the wreckage."
On message. According to plan. Yes, that’s Newt Gingrich.
Harold Stassen has been dead for a decade. The Republican Party needs another used-to-be-somebody, “big-ideas” candidate to fill out the primary ballot.
But that’s not fair…
To Stassen, a delightful man who actually contributed something of value to the United States as the “boy governor” of Minnesota, a delegate to the conference that established the United Nations, the president of the University of Pennsylvania and an able aide to President Dwight Eisenhower. He even tried to displace Richard Nixon as vice president in 1956, a project that had it succeeded might have saved the United States a world of hurt.
And there’s one other thing about Stassen: At one point, he really was a serious contender for his party’s presidential nomination.
That will never be said of Newt Gingrich.
Let’s consider the top-five reasons:
1. GINGRICH REACHED HIS SELL-BY DATE IN 1996: Born during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s third term, Gingrich would if elected next year assume the presidency on the cusp of his 70th birthday. And unlike the conservative movement’s favorite septuagenarian president, Ronald Reagan, Gingrich has been a political player for his entire adult life. Barack Obama was two years old when Gingrich went to work on his first national campaign.
There are natural trajectories for politicians. Gingrich’s had him running for president in 1996, as the dynamic conservative challenger to President Bill Clinton. That would have been a great race between a pair of similar southerners — smart, ambitious rascals with plenty of skeletons in their closets but also with real differences regarding the direction of the nation — but Gingrich deferred to the party bosses (and their corporate overseers) who preferred the predictability of Bob Dole.