Saturday, March 10, 2007

Newt Trouble

No not a post about Ken Livingstone; but the news that Newt Gringrich the former Speaker of the House of Representatives has coughed up to having an affair whilst leading the charge to impeach President Clinton for lying about his.

According to Iain Dale this means that Newt is out of the running for the GOP presidential nomination. Not so fast my friend. I (and a lot of the pundits) think that this is a clear sign that he is planning to run.

He has been dancing around the issue for six months now, saying that he won't make an announcement until September this year. With his name recognition amongst the republican base he can afford to jump into the race late and by September it is likely the base will have tired of the John and Rudy show and will be looking for a real red-blooded conservative to turn to. In the meantime he has been touring the states with his winning the future roadshow attempting to shape the terms of debate on the Republican side to his advantage whilst appearing to be above the fray in terms of personal campaigning.

If he is leaning towards throwing the his hat into the ring campaigning 101 states that you get any of your skeletons out of the closet well before you official announce so by the time the campaign proper swings round its old news. Yes this will hurt him with the base, but the fact that both Guiliani and McCain have chequered marital histories means that it is unlikely to become a wedge issue in the primaries, although Mitt Romney will try and make it one (still happily married to his first wife allegedly).

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