Few hypothetical general election match-ups make me quite as happy as the possibility of an Obama-Gingrich melee. It’s the pinnacle of the old kind of politics versus the pinnacle of a new kind, the 1990s incarnate versus the 2010s incarnate. If there’s any candidate who would crumble under the weight of Obama’s anti-Washington, anti-corruption, anti-divisiveness message, it’s Gingrich.
Alas, though Gingrich had begun, in his own dysfunctional and bizarre way, to inch towards a run, he’s wussed out:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will not run for president in 2008 after determining he could not legally explore a bid and remain as head of his tax-exempt political organization, a spokesman said Saturday.
“Newt is not running,” spokesman Rick Tyler said. “It is legally impermissible for him to continue on as chairman of American Solutions (for Winning the Future) and to explore a campaign for president.”
Oh come on. You can think of a better excuse. I bet you some college YAF-er wouldn’t so much as drop out if he got the opportunity (ahem) to lead American Solutions (for Winning the Future). Moreover, wasn’t the whole point of American Solution (for Winning the Future) to provide the intellectual and organizational backup for a potential Gingrich presidential run? It’s like if Biden had chosen not to run to spend more time with Unite Our States. There’s a long-standing, natural progression from vanity PAC, to exploratory committee, to presidential campaign, Mr. Gingrich, and you have broken it. For shame.
P.S. I used to think that there was nothing so pretentious as a song whose self-identified importance necessitates the use of parentheses in the title. It turns out that when that song is a self-promoting nonprofit group, it’s even worse.