I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking “Newt for President” for 2008. Rich Lowry makes the case today over at NRO.
Gingrich is partly benefiting from a beneath-the-surface conservative exasperation with President Bush. In 2000, Bush represented a break from Gingrich’s brainy, hyperpartisan, government-cutting conservatism, for something more personable, more bipartisan and more comfortable with government. After six years of Bush, many conservatives are ready for a no-holds-barred, limited-government brainiac again.
I’m with Rich, everytime I see Newt Gingrich on television, he impresses me more. And while I don’t think I ever considered myself a “Newt fan” when he was Speaker (Rich is right, his tenure was erratic at best!), I do think he is one of the few visionaries of the Republican Party. He is a great communicator, excellent big picture thinker, and true American patriot.
I know, I know… he rubs people the wrong way. Well, so does Hillary. But unlike Hillary, the tone I hear from Newt makes me trust him more each time, and believe he’s matured as an American leader, not as a professional politician.
So while my personal vote is still with Rudy or Condi, I am also excited about the idea of Newt Gingrich running for President. He would bring a level of intelligence and vision to the Republican Primary race that wouldn’t be there otherwise.
But as Rich points out,
Whatever happens, Gingrich stands to be the party’s most important intellectual table-setter. “Whoever wins,” says [former RNC Chairman Ed] Gillespie, “is going to have spent a lot of time talking about what Newt was talking about.” There are worse places for the party to look for a renewed agenda.