Newt Gingrich did not rule out running for president in 2016 while on a promotional book tour, which is awesome because he was one of the funnest presidential candidates of all time. "I have no idea at this stage," Gingrich told the Naples News, as noted by The Daily Caller. Speculation about a Newt '16 campaign serves little to no purpose (at this point, definitely; and at any point, most likely) other than to sell Gingrich's books and "movies" and to entertain us, but we can't not indulge, because Newt was just so entertaining. And it's worth noting that maybe he wouldn't have been such a bad presidential candidate after all.
Gingrich ran far to Mitt Romney's left on immigration by saying that people should be treated "humanely" and that we shouldn't "deport grandmothers." Romney lost among Latino voters by 50 percentage points. In fact, Gingrich sounded awfully prescient in 2007 about the Republican Party's demographic problems:
"I think Republican consultants are mostly very stupid. I think they have no education. I think they have no sense of history. … If I throw away African Americans, and then I throw away Latinos, and then I throw away suburban women, and then I throw away people under 40, and then I throw away everything north of Philadelphia — there’s a morning where Republicans can’t get to a majority."
Throughout his career, Gingrich has taken steps to fix this problem. He has a 20-year history of reaching out to black voters. As House Speaker, he held press conferences highlighting the exhausting life of working moms (1997 photo op at left). And at his core, Gingrich is a Millennial — oversharing, born to blog, and a resentful cultural revolutionary.
We all gleefully mocked Gingrich for thinking of himself as an "ideas man" and then calling for a moon base. But his ideas would be perfect for Republicans right now. The GOP is mocked for being anti-science, but Gingrich loves science! President Obama has the upper hand in deficit negotiations with Republicans... and Gingrich figured out how to negotiate a balanced budget with Bill Clinton, and probably learned from some mistakes in the government shutdown of 1996-1997.
It's not that Gingrich could win the Republican presidential nomination, or that if he managed that feat, he could even get elected president. He probably couldn't. He has a tendency to say weird things. He's been self-employed as a quasi-lobbyist for years. His wife's hair looks like a counterrevolutionary helmet. But aside from the petty distractions, Newt Gingrich is a man whose time has finally come. Republicans must "modernize and adapt," he told the Naples News, and weirdly the best way to modernize is to reanimate this 90s throwback. Too bad he'll be relegated to the highly profitable pundit circuit instead.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.