Well, don’t hold back, Senator Coburn. Tell us what you really think:
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is pouring cold water on the idea of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich running for president.
“He’s the last person I’d vote for for president of the United States,” Coburn said during a town hall event in Wagoner, Okla., over the weekend, as was reported by the Tulsa World.
In explaining why he wouldn’t support Gingrich, Coburn specifically targeted the ex-speaker’s three marriages as proof that Gingrich “doesn’t know anything about commitment to marriage.”
“His life indicates he does not have a commitment to the character traits necessary to be a great president,” said Coburn, who also noted that Gingrich is a “super-smart man.”
That’s the reason that people assume Gingrich has yet to run for President anyway, because of his controversial divorces. Maybe that’s true, but it also may have something to do with the fact that Gingrich hasn’t held elective office for almost twelve years. And while Gingrich has proven adept at political organizing at American Solutions, he has yet to hold an executive office in politics outside of the Speakership. He hasn’t even run for statewide office in Georgia, let alone a national contest.
Even with all of that said, Gingrich still might make a run for the top job, but he’ll be 69 when he does. Only Ronald Reagan and William Henry Harrison ran for President at that age and got their party’s nomination. The age of 69 is younger than it was in Harrison’s time, and even Reagan’s time, relative to the median age of voters, but it’s still going to be a tough sell to run a 69-year-old man against Barack Obama, who will have no trouble at all tying Gingrich to the politics of the past.
I’d guess that Newt will prefer to play kingmaker than king, or more accurately, play professor to the up-and-comers in the GOP to instill conservative values and a backbone when they make their own run for the brass ring.