GOP could try dropping Newtron bomb |

GOP could try dropping Newtron bomb

Chuck Muth
For the Appeal

The conventional wisdom was that Fred Thompson’s entrance into the GOP presidential race would blow the field away, including any rationale for Newt Gingrich joining the fray as the “conservative” alternative to the current contenders.

But it turns out the only thing Thompson’s much-anticipated, much-delayed debut blew away was the conventional wisdom. And Gingrich is now telling reporters that if supporters pledge $30 million toward a presidential campaign by the end of October, yes, he would seriously consider throwing his hat into the ring. So let’s consider that possibility.

Mention “Gingrich” and “presidential run” in the same sentence and the Pavlovian response you’re likely to get is, “Yeah, but he can’t win.” Everybody knows he “can’t win,” right? Right.

Just like that former professional wrestler who everybody knew couldn’t win that Minnesota governor’s race. Or that carpet-bagging First Lady who everybody knew couldn’t win that U.S. Senate seat in New York. Or that peanut farmer from Georgia or that B-movie actor from California who everybody knew couldn’t win presidency of the United States.

Or that university professor who everyone knew couldn’t win a Republican House majority in 1994. What was his name again?

But Newt’s “negatives” are too high, they/you might say.

Well, OK. But it’s increasingly likely that the Democrat nominee is going to be Hillary Clinton. Talk about high negatives! Hers reach Neptune. Even Jack Abramoff would have a shot against her (no offense, Jack).

Remember, it’s not necessarily the best candidate who wins the race, but the best-run campaign. And Newt Gingrich has been training candidates on the Art of Political War for the better part of two decades now. He continues to count in his stable some of the best campaign professionals in the nation today.

What about the money?

Yes, THERE is a problem. When Fred Thompson was “exploring” his presidential run, the figure he was shooting for over a 3-month period was $5 million. And he came up short of the goal. The bar Gingrich has set is six times that amount in less than half the time. Pretty tall order.

However, we’re talking about Newt here. For all his supposed “negatives,” Gingrich is still the GOP’s only “rock star.” Grassroots activists still line up to get his autograph and have their picture taken with him. He enjoys first name celebrity status on par with the likes of “Cher” and “Oprah.” When you say “Newt,” everyone knows who you’re talking about.

Still, can he raise $30 million in 30 days? Well, if anyone can, Newt can. He’s been building a national donor list for well over a decade now. It’s doubtful any Republican in America has a better, more extensive, more responsive donor list than Newt Gingrich.

And finally, Newt Gingrich is the Republican the Left loves to hate the most. They foam at the mouth at the mere mention of his name. They will go absolutely bonkers if Gingrich is the Republican nominee, which will likely succeed in uniting the GOP base behind the man’s candidacy in a way others are unlikely to achieve.

In fact, when you think about it, it’s not that Newt can’t win; it’s that he might be the only Republican who can.