Needing A Newt Party
Newt Gingrich has let it be known that, if Republicans want him, the former U.S House speaker is willing to serve as chairman of the national party and lead it out of the wilderness it’s blundered into.
The question is whether the 168-member Republican National Committee is open to the match.
“If a majority of the RNC thought he was needed, he would accept that appointment,” said Randy Evans’ Gingrich’s close friend and legal counsel. “He fully appreciates the urgency of the moment.”
He's conservative, smart, and competent - the last attribute being in particularly short supply. And he's not currently an RNC member. Meaning that he'd represent change. Newt ideas.
Business as usual sound like a good idea? A party running so close to the middle that it fails to differentiate itself from Democrats - except to be viewed as less competent?
What might strike some as coyness is in fact caution. The odds are stacked against the former Georgia congressman, for several reasons.
For one thing, six days after the election of Barack Obama and substantial gains by Democrats in the House and Senate, Republicans have yet to decide whether a serious overhaul of the party is required.
A January decision is expected.
If a revolution is in order, then there’s the small matter of which side is issued the pitchforks, and whose castle is to be stormed. Is this a fight to purge moderates, or a battle to expand the tent?
“The RNC has to do some soul-searching and decide what level of change is necessary,” Evans said. “If that answer is bold, energetic change led by someone who has done it before, then Newt would be a good choice.”
If the party is eying a shift toward the middle, Evans added, “that isn’t Newt.”
Though he retains his reputation as a polarizing figure, Gingrich served as a sideline strategist for the GOP during the presidential season. He pointed McCain to the issue of offshore drilling. But Gingrich also helped generate skepticism over the Wall Street bailout — which McCain and other Senate Republicans supported.