Who You Gonna Call?

The wide-open Republican presidential race narrowed a bit with Fred Thompson’s withdrawal, but some pundits are speculating that the primaries will be inconclusive, and that the various camps will choose a consensus nominee at a brokered convention. Indeed, the desperate hope that a dark horse could seize such an opportunity at the last minute appears to be the campaign strategy of Alan Keyes. But right-wing commentator Michael Reagan is counting on another spectral candidate: Newt Gingrich.

Who, then, could conservatives end up backing? Well, who recently has come out with a new book? Who’s doing all the shows talking about his new book? Who is advocating common-sense solutions to the most pressing problems America faces?

Newt Gingrich, that’s who. He was out of the race for a long time, he toyed with the idea of running until Fred Thompson entered the race, and then he more or less pulled back.

… I wouldn’t be surprised if he was out there quietly working the phones and hoping for a wide-open convention where the delegates — not the primaries that selected many of them — decide for themselves who they want to carry the GOP banner in the presidential election in November.

If Newt throws his hat in the ring he knows that in the blink of an eye he will have the grass roots behind him. … As a result, if the nomination gets thrown open in a brokered convention, the person who comes out of the struggle the winner will most likely be Newt Gingrich.

There’s no question the former House Speaker wants to be thought of as a contender. Gingrich teased the Right with his candidacy for months before laying it to rest in October, blaming campaign-finance laws that would have prevented him from maintaining control of his 527 political group (American Solutions) and its unrestricted funding. Nevertheless, he soon came back on the scene, showing up in Iowa before the caucuses to tout his dopey “Platform of the American People.”

Despite the efforts of some right-wing fans to replace Gingrich’s old, unpopular image with a futuristic and brainy image, it’s still hard to imagine Gingrich as a national candidate. But one thing it has done is let Gingrich bask in the attention. And it seems to be paying off: American Solutions, which still appears to be something of a one-man show, raised $5.8 million through November. And he’s churned out four books since he set about “winning the future” last summer.

Tags: Iowa primaries