I don’t know if New Gingrich has announced his intention to run for President in 2008 or not. Those who have read the alternate history series he co-authored may breathe a grateful sigh of relief as his literary efforts will no longer pollute the waters of good literature, but it still does not answer the key question.
The former speaker of the house already left a legacy to America for which he will long be remembered. The Contract of America, greatly influenced by the rise of conservative talk radio swept the Republican party into power for the first time in 40 years. He may have been voted out slightly later but while he may not be remembered as fondly as Ronald Reagan, he secured his place in the history books of the nation.
Recent comments about the Bush presidency hit it on the money though. Comparing the current administration to the Carter presidency may seem extreme to some but it has many similarities. The country currently faces an energy crisis due to the rising cost of gas which causes inflation to rise. Unlike the Carter administration, Bush has been elected to two terms although by a narrow percentage of the popular vote each time.
Whether or not criticizing Bush will gain him votes or not remains to be seen. Like the current Democratic front runner Hilary Clinton, Gingrich may be loved by members of his own party but will likely be seen as a divisive figure and of course any opponent will trot out his mothers opinion of the Junior Senator of New York as a potential commercial for their campaign. When it comes to appealing to the base, a better candidate could not be picked for the Republican party. He supports defense of marriage amendments, lower tax rates and less interference by the government in public life. A point which seems to have gone by the current administration.
If several issues dominated this election and other candidates such as Guliani did not have “hero appeal” Newt might stand a good chance of winning his party’s nomination. Since issues like the war on terror, decline of personal freedoms under Bush and the rising cost of gasoline will likely be on most voters minds, it might be better for him to settle down and act as an advisor.
The part of everyone that appreciates good writing may rejoice that Newt wants to return to his political career, but Newt would far better serve the nation as a mentor and a role model to conservative politicians who desire to know how to seek and engage in meaningful reform. At the very least, we will not have to suffer through any more of his novels. They may be grammatically perfect, but somehow the idea that the novel is a work of art seems to eluded him and his co-author.