Newton Leroy Gingrich is a fascinating character. He is currently a candidate for the Presidency, even though he knows quite well that his chances of success equal those of the Cubs going to the World Series. Extremely intelligent, a college professor and historian, the former Speaker of the House (why do journalists keep addressing him as Mr. Speaker?), entered the fray for two reasons: First, he knows that this is his last chance at his age; he just turned 68 on June 17th. Whatever the odds, he feels that the slimmest possibility of success still gives him a sense of entitlement. In his mind, his political experience gives him the right to become President and go away in a blaze of glory like Reagan. But the real reason, in my learned opinion, is his secret hope that he will be chosen as Vice-President and then, who knows, anything can happen.
He has written more than 17 non-fiction books since 1982, most of them covering politics and U.S. History. Gingrich without a doubt dominates all the other candidates in intelligence and political experience. His main problem however is that he has become famous for his gaffes when speaking publicly; he is also known for his interest in other women even while married. Given the present forgiving mood of most of the electorate nowadays, the former Speaker believes that his peccadilloes will not affect his chances of becoming Vice-President or, at the very least, of occupying a large role in the new Cabinet of 2013. Assuming of course that Obama is defeated, which is by no means certain.
Mr. Gingrich possesses the usual disdain for those who do not share his brilliant intellect; he of course tries to hide that feeling in public, although, as stated above, he sometimes lets his tongue get the better of him. When his staff resigned en masse on June 9, 2011, he vowed to continue the campaign: “I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring,” he wrote a few days later. It appears that again his intellectual prowess convinced him that he knew better than anybody else how to run his candidacy. Again, there is little doubt that the fireworks inside Gingrich's team must have spooked his helpers to the point of convincing them that Newt would never listen to reason.
Again, the ex-Speaker understands all that and probably regrets that his impetuous character has left him to fight the campaign alone or with whomever is willing to put up with him. Why does he continue? Because he is a superb debater and because his real goal is not to win the Republican primaries. He believes that by the end of the process, his name and face will be so well-known that the victor (Mr. Romney?) will have no choice but to select him as his running mate.