Sunday, July 01, 2007

Newt: "I'd be willing to be president."

Lloyd Grove has an article in the Washington Post today, giving one of the better-balanced pieces I've ever seen about Newt Gingrich.

Some highlights from the article:

On running for President: He says he'll give his final answer by Oct. 1.

On waiting so late to announce his candidacy: Gingrich, for his part, dismisses warnings that October will be too late for a non-billionaire to jump into the race and raise the necessary cash. "Do you know the approximate size of the U.S. economy? About $14 trillion. ... if you assume we live in a country of 300 million people, a substantial number of whom will not have contributed to anybody, we'll have to see. Assume for a minute that one of the three [Republican] front-runners collapses. How many supporters does that make available?"

On Mitt Romney and Rudy Giulani: Gingrich has been carefully cultivating key Republican constituencies, especially Christian activists who might balk at nominating a formerly liberal Mormon who claims to have seen the light or a pro-abortion rights, pro-gun control, occasionally cross-dressing, thrice-married Yankees fan.

On John McCain: "I like John," Gingrich says, "but the combination of McCain-Feingold [the widely despised campaign finance law] and McCain-Kennedy [the hated immigration bill] is a tad heavy."

On Fred Thompson: "I think he becomes the establishment alternative," Gingrich says. "I've been fond of Fred ever since 'The Hunt for Red October.' I think he was totally convincing as an admiral."

On his marital infidelities: [Newt] had already taken the extraordinary step of going on right-wing evangelical leader James Dobson's radio show to admit committing the sin of adultery..."It's like talking to your mom. There are things in life you just don't want to go home and tell mom. But it was my intuitive judgment that this was a room I had to walk through. If I never walked through it, I'd always be on the other side of the door."

Newt has huge ideas about changing government, and the presidency is only a small part, a possible step in that process: "I want to make sure by the time we're done that in 511,000 elective positions" -- apparently the whole of U.S. officialdom -- "there are people who understand the 21st century, understand American civilization, and have fundamentally changed government at all levels."

"And if, in that process, I become president -- that's fine."

No comments: