Newt as VP?

posted at 12:45 pm on September 13, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

One man seems to be having a lot of fun in the Republican debates, even though almost no one gives him any chance of contending for the nomination.  Free of expectations for success, Newt Gingrich has turned himself into a reliable on-stage rally leader for party unity as well as a voice for attacking the media’s moderators when the questions cross the line into advocacy, at least in Gingrich’s mind.  Last night I summed up my feelings on Twitter about Gingrich, writing that I “[d]on’t want him as our nominee, but love having him on our side.”

Gingrich probably feels — publicly, at least — that he has a chance of winning the nomination.  However, his repeated efforts to provide cover for the other candidates on the stage rather than go on the attack doesn’t allow him much opportunity to differentiate himself from the frontrunners, or even the pack.  But as an e-mailer pointed out to me earlier today, the roles he has chosen for himself fit very nicely into another mold: the running mate.

Nominees choose running mates based on political calculations for broadening the appeal of the ticket.  Generally those come down to ideological and geographic diversity as well as a proven ability to campaign and draw votes.  Newt has been a national figure for so long that he probably doesn’t bring any specific geographic influence to a ticket.  His ideological positions have been flexible, to say the least, enough so that it might be hard for any ideological voters to find an affinity for Gingrich.  As far as drawing votes, he might have more baggage than attraction.

However, Dick Cheney didn’t really fit that mold either for George Bush, and it turned into a successful match.  Furthermore, Gingrich is making an impression on Republicans who want to see more unity of purpose in the campaign in opposition to Obama rather than each other.  His best quality, though, is his ability to push back against the media, both in and out of the debates.  Putting Gingrich on a ticket means having him front and center, defending the eventual nominee against all sorts of charges and allowing him to be an attack dog against the Democratic ticket.  After watching Gingrich take on these roles in the last three debates especially, the eventual nominee may want to keep him around for the general election, too.

The choice of running mate will depend on the nominee’s desires and needs, of course, and there may be better choices for the bottom of the ticket.  It seems, though, that Newt Gingrich is making a pretty strong case for inclusion on a short list.

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Could you imagine debating this guy?
Provided he could stop punching the refs…

IlikedAUH2O on September 13, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Newt debating Biden. Imagine the point spread.

diogenes on September 13, 2011 at 5:42 PM

I’d like to see a cabinet pre-announced. Palin at Energy, Romney at Treasury, Jindal at HHS. Gingrich at Education. Bolton at State.

Run on a team concept as opposed to just a 2 person ticket.

I’ve thought Palin at Energy would be a great move if she doesn’t run. Great names at the rest of the departments too, although I don’t think Romney would take Treasury if offered. Maybe Cain at the Labor Dept. Giuliani at Justice. And a strong someone tasked specifically to shut down the EPA.

Kevin71 on September 13, 2011 at 5:57 PM

I’m for Newt as Chief of Staff.

BKeyser on September 13, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Just like Newt pushed back against Pelosi on the couch? No, he will squish on us.

AnotherOpinion on September 13, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Ugh. Way too nauseating for dinnertime.

slickwillie2001 on September 13, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Newt as VP?


Gingrich IS the problem!!!

HOW many years has he been living on the public dole???? NO! I wouldn’t vote for him in a million years.

Isn’t there just ONE good Republican candidate out there??????????????????????

KMC1 on September 13, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Biden – Gingrich debate. Now that would be worth seeing. For what it’s worth, I think Gingrich would be an awesome Chief of Staff or Press Secretary. If Perry or Romney chose him for VP, that would be ok too.

budadams99 on September 13, 2011 at 8:14 PM

I watch Newt and I think one thing.

Role team player.

He’s drawing fire, saying the harshest things about Obama, and deflecting criticism of everyone else on the stage but himself which he takes head on and confronts.

Think hockey team. He’s the guy that’s not a great puck handling player, but that’s not why he has a job. He busts grills and protects others on the team. He’s our “goon”. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Newt’s not going to be President, not even against Obama, and he’s smart enough to know that. So what’s the next best thing he can do? Damage Obama and prop up the nominee for his side.

There probably is a job in his future, perhaps the Fed? We know he’s good with money.

Hog Wild on September 13, 2011 at 9:13 PM

With Newter as the VPOTUS the POTUS would be free do murder little children in his office in the White House and not have to worry about impeachment.


herself on September 14, 2011 at 1:49 AM

Palin is running. So shall it be posted, so shall it be done.

Let the Cabinetry begin fawning apace.

Herman Cain – Chairman of the Federal Reserve (he knows how it works)
Huntsman – Secretary of Commerce
Jindal – Director of FEMA
Bolton – National Security Advisor
General Stan McChrystal – SecDEF
Romney – VP
Steve Forbes – Treasury (gets him out of the house)
Bachmann – IRS Commissioner (alternate: Neal Boortz)
Rick Santorum – Director, Social Security Administration
Ron Paul – Surgeon General of the US
John Stossel – Press Secretary
Andrew C. McCarthy- Attorney General
Tim Pawlenty- Sec of Education
Sheriff Joe Arpaio- Homeland Security
Secretary of Labor: Tom Tancredo
Veterans’ Affairs: Chuck Norris
HHS: Dr. Drew Pinsky
Joe Liebermann: Ambassador to Israel
Brigitte Gabriel- US Ambassador to the UN
Wafa Sultan – US Ambassador to Syria
Gingrich: Secretary of the Interior (alternate: Ted Nugent
Rick Perry: Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Energy: Mike Huckabee (he once chaired the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission)
Mark Levin: Supreme Court justice (replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg)

Make it so, Hot Airians! The Malkinite’s work here is done.

BemusedMalkinite on September 14, 2011 at 4:34 AM