Newt Gingrich as Donald Trump’s Running Mate

Now that Donald Trump has virtually secured the Republican presidential nomination, the conversation has rapidly shifted from “contested convention” to “running mate.”
Trump has placed former GOP rival Dr. Ben Carson in charge of his vice presidential search committee, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was also in the running for president, as head of his transition team if and when he is elected. While that doesn’t preclude Trump from selecting either as his running mate, it decreases their odds.
But there is another name – one we thought we’d heard the last of in 2012 – that has been thrown around as of late, to be Trump’s number two: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
No one but Gingrich best serves as the face of Republican Revolution of 1994, which ushered in the first GOP-controlled Congress in 40 years, based on a Contract with America. Through the mid-1990s, Gingrich was the Republicans’ rising star, and many pundits were certain he would run for president, and win.
He led Congress to its last balanced budget to date, but also bore the brunt of the blame for the government shutdown during which he was politically outmaneuvered by then-President Bill Clinton, who escaped unscathed.
An ethics charge by House Democrats – that he claimed tax exemption on income from a course he taught for political purposes, the only one of their charges that stuck – and being scapegoated by his fellow Republicans for 1988 midterm election losses, compelled Gingrich to step down as speaker and leave the House altogether in January 1999.
He stayed in the thick of things during the ensuing decade, but didn’t run for office again until 2012, when he entered the Republican race for president. After rising to the top of the field by out-debating his opponents with an explosion of ideas and nary a negative word, he was bombarded by rival Mitt Romney, whose establishment SuperPACs unleashed a vicious negative ad campaign against him.
Long on knowledge but short on campaign savvy, Gingrich never recovered and Romney went on to win the nomination.
Now, several political analysists think Gingrich is at or near the top to become Trump’s running mate. And that is both a very good choice, and a very bad one.
All his braggadocio aside, even Trump himself concedes that he does not have any political experience, and needs a Washington insider to push legislation in the first 100 days of his presidency, a period Trump deems as “critical.” Gingrich is as good a choice in that respect as any, and better than most. Add to that Gingrich’s penchant for outside-the-box thinking, and it seems that with Trump at the helm, it is hard to imagine a better second-in-command.
Except for one thing: the dynamite duo cannot display their gifts of governance even for a day unless they are actually elected to office, and a Trump-Gingrich ticket presents a major electability problem.
Trump has a major problem attracting women voters. And the thrice-married Gingrich who, like Trump, was a known adulterer in his younger days, won’t help matters any. Also like Trump, Gingrich can be abrasive, caustic, brash, and arrogant at times, all traits that men as a whole tend to overlook (and to some extent even admire), but which for many women are dealbreakers.
For a number of reasons, then, Gingrich would make a fantastic vice president, but an unhelpful vice presidential nominee.

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