He’s loud and opinionated. He’s obnoxiously confident. He’s always the smartest guy in the room. He’s brimming with ideas; most of them good and some of them clunkers. He’s ambitious. He’s opposed by his own Republican party’s so-called “insiders”. AND he wants to be President. Newt Gingrich, right? Well…sure…but the same was being said of Theodore Roosevelt in 1900.
running mate in order to control him and keep him in his place. They figured in the VP slot he would have nothing to do, would be forced to support the dictates of his boss, the President, and would never be heard from again…like all previous Vice Presidents; after all only John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and
Martin Van Buren in 1836 had ever served as Vice President and then been elected President. Four others became President upon the Presidents death. So the odds were good that Roosevelt would never be heard from again.
Like Gingrich, Roosevelt was always the smartest man in the room. He was the youngest to ever hold the Presidency. And his clashes with his own party eventually led him to form the Bull Moose party in 1912 and run as a third-party candidate against the incumbent Republican William Howard Taft. One can assume Gingrich is not planning such a split. In fact his positive and complimentary approach to ALL his GOP rivals has had me thinking from the start that he’s trying to position himself for a VP nomination if his out of step and out of funds Presidential bid flounders.
TR’s personal life escapes this comparison, for he was a devoted husband and father. As we’ll undoubtedly hear more about in coming months Gingrich was not a good husband to his first two wives. He had affairs with his second and third wives before divorcing the preceding wife. But all those heavily invested in the political process know these stories. But they don’t seem to matter to most.
Roosevelt ascended to the top post like two others before him when the President was assassinated in September 1901. When he left office in March 1909 he was still a young and vigorous man. He had dominated the Congress and the World during his tenure truly transforming this country. Child Labor laws, National Parks, building a huge robust Navy that he sent around the world, Anti-Trust laws…and more. There are only four faces on Mount Rushmore; and he’s one of them.
Gingrich may not be Roosevelt. But he may be. He may be the transformational figure this country needed at the start of the 20th Century and needs again at the start of the 21st Century. Having a brilliant history based intellectual like Gingrich in the White House who also happens to be tough and unconcerned with kissing the butts of all those GOP Washington insiders can ONLY be good.
He’s the smartest man in every room he walks into. From that standpoint he reminds me of both Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon. The same could be said for both of these disgraced Presidents. On second thought…
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- Newt Gingrich suggests Ron Paul unprepared, a threat (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- Newt Gingrich And The Revenge Of The Base (mykeystrokes.com)
- LA Times: Newt Gingrich Wins Tea Party Patriots Straw Poll (davidcalves.com)
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