Newt is my preferred candidate of the candidates currently in the race. I even sent his campaign some money.  There are good reasons to like Newt and here are 5, in no particular order:

  1. Newt understands coalition building on issues. It's how he spearheaded the 1994 takeover of congress and it's the basis of the Contract For America. The way he looks at issues upon which to focus is both obvious and brilliant. He takes issues that have extremely broad support across the spectrum (yet opposed by Obama) and presses those. He goes into a discussion on those issues with an automatic advantage because he's arguing from a position of strength. I'm not saying that he compromises on issues (necessarily) but rather that's what he focuses on. The converse is true. He doesn't waste time on divisive issues that have little chance of gaining traction and will only serve as polarizing factors. Yes, I see the irony of this, given that Newt is nearly as polarizing as Hillary Clinton.
  2. Nobody in the race understands history better than Newt. It is this understanding that makes him an extremely capable leader.
  3. Newt is effective. You can like him or hate him, but you can't deny that when he was Speaker, he was the most effective politician in my lifetime. His record of balanced budgets, welfare reform, and measures that helped lower unemployment are simply irrefutable.
  4. He isn't afraid to say what he is thinking. It's not always politically correct and I don't always agree, but he doesn't pull punches and is always ready to back up what he says with a reasoned explanation of why he thinks the way he does.
  5. Newt understands Washington D.C. Unlike many people, I believe an "outsider" for President is a bad idea. It sounds good on the campaign trail and it does appeal to the basic mistrust we (justifiably) have of politicians. But the reality is that once the campaign is over, you have to govern. And that means working with the 535 members of congress you spent the last year and a half running against. What that does is make you completely ineffective unless you truly know what you're doing. Both Bushes got destroyed their first few years. So did Clinton. And while Obama got what he wanted, he was manhandled by Reid and Pelosi because they were pulling all of the strings.
But as much as I like Newt and as much as I believe he would be a good if not great president, he won't win. He can't win and here are 5 reasons why:


  1. Newt can't shut up. Every time he has a thought, he has to say it or write it. And this is what he's done the last 30 years. The result of this diarrhea-of-the-mouth is a record that covers nearly every position on every issue of importance with a whole bunch of crazy thrown in for good measure. I don't mean Ron Paul crazy. I mean that he's had some bizarre ideas that he has suggested as solutions and since they came up in his brain, they had to be put on paper or said in speeches for posterity.
  2. He is the DC poster-child for ADD. This goes hand-in-hand with number 1 but is significant enough to warrant its own entry. He takes "I was before it before I was against it" to an extreme. While most politicians flip-flop because of political opportunism, Gingrich has done so because it's the latest shiny thing.  His lack of consistency is due to his overactive brain examining and reexamining every issue he sees. And since he has #1 (can't shut up), every time he adjusts or has a new thought on a subject, he has to tell everyone.
  3. He's been married 3 times. I'm sorry, but that's the way it is. I've been married 3 times. I could't be POTUS either. But Newt's problem goes deeper. He's a hypocrite on morality. He was cheating on his wife during the whole Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. And whether you like it or not, if you can't be trusted to keep your marital vows, how can you be trusted to keep the most basic of campaign promises. Why is the oath you make before the country more believable than the oath(s) you made before God? Only one president has ever been divorced and with apologies to Lloyd Bentsen, Mr. Speaker, you're no Ronald Reagan.
  4. He's a lies and it's provable. Easily. Heck, there's even evidence now that he lied about the basic facts surrounding his first divorce and this is only the primary. If he gets the nomination, the document dumps will be legendary. Yes, we still don't know Obama's grades and even basic things like that, but the liberal media and judiciary is the world we live in and we have to deal with it.
  5. He wants to be liked. And this is his most basic flaw. Because he wants to be liked he sits on couches with the most liberal person in congress and praises Andy Stern as a good leader.
These are 5 reasons on both sides, but they tell a story.
You can be brilliant and you can have the right position on things, but if you are perceived as someone who can't be trusted (in a variety of ways) you can't win. At least as a Republican.