“Phony” not in the Olbermann sense of being a contrived distraction from the “real issues” like the minimum wage but in the sense of having been fought clumsily and shortsightedly. His basic point is sound — Bush’s failure to leverage his political capital after 9/11 to push harder for energy independence is one of his biggest failures — but Newt’s also a greenie who understands that conservatives will consider any policy proposal so long as it’s presented in the context of defeating terrorism. Want renewable energy sources? Then show us how they make Osama cry.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday the Bush administration is waging a “phony war” on terrorism, warning that the country is losing ground against the kind of Islamic radicals who attacked the country on Sept. 11, 2001.

A more effective approach, said Gingrich, would begin with a national energy strategy aimed at weaning the country from its reliance on imported oil and some of the regimes that petro-dollars support.

“None of you should believe we are winning this war. There is no evidence that we are winning this war,” the ex-Georgian told a group of about 300 students attending a conference for collegiate conservatives…

Gingrich was interrupted with applause once, when he called for an end to the biting partisanship critics say has polarized national politics and paralyzed the workings of government.

“We have got to get past this partisan baloney, where I’m not allowed to say anything good about Hillary Clinton because ‘I’m not a loyal Republican,’ and she’s not allowed to say anything good about me, or she’s not a ‘loyal’ Democrat. What a stupid way to run a country.”

He reserved his most pointed criticism for the administration’s handling of the global campaign against terrorist groups.

“We’ve been engaged in a phony war,” said Gingrich. “The only people who have been taking this seriously are the combat military.”

Gotta say, if I thought he had any chance of winning, he’d probably be the pick.