Newt Gingrich appeared on talk shows this Sunday and flirted with the idea of a 2012 presidential bid. In a glaring example of just how wide the schism between Republican Party moderates and conservatives has become, pundits on the right were quick to shoot Gingrich down. The man who led the GOP to a 1994 revival is now dismissed being by some on the right as a RINO -- Republican In Name Only. Why? In a contentious New York State Congressional race that has split the Republican Party at the national level, Gingrich irked conservatives by endorsing moderate Dede Scozzafava, and urging Republicans not to support the more conservative third-party candidate Doug Hoffman. In the ongoing battle for
tomorrow's GOP, the former speaker of the house isn't gaining any ground with
- Palling Around With Liberals Michelle Malkin imagines the administration Gingrich would have if he were president. "Picture the cabinet: Al Sharpton as education secretary. Scozzafava as labor secretary. Al Gore as global warming czar. Noooooo, thanks." she says. According to Malkin, "the conservative base is wising up and pushing back," and it won't need Gingrich's services to retake the party. "Constantly invoking Reagan isn't going to erase the damage Gingrich has done to his brand over the years by wavering on core issues and teaming up with some of the Left's biggest clowns."
- Gingrich Has Lost Touch With His Base At The American Spectator, Quin Hillyer says Newt Gingrich "should be ashamed" of himself for being "beltwayed" and missing the anti-establishment wave of the new conservative grassroots. "Right now the broader public, not just hardline conservatives, are in an anti-establishment mood. Yet Gingrich has sided with the establishment, and with a professional politician, against a self-made outside businessman getting into politics due to principle."
- Too Much of an Insider At Riehl World View, Dan Riehl says it isn't likely Gingrich could win in 2012. "Unless someone got the nomination and picked Newt for VP, there's no way I see him as viable." Gingrich has too much "baggage," Riehl wrote. "I don't think he'd make it through a Republican Primary given some of his stances over the years. He might be able to take a shot at a Senate seat. But there's no way I see him as a serious player in 2012. Just too much history and way too much of an insider, now."
- Newt Not Likely to Run Anyway At the left-leaning Salon, Alex Koppelman noted that it wouldn't make sense for Gingrich to risk a loss on the campaign trail when he's already a kind of elder among the Republican establishment. "He's comfortably ensconced as a party elder right now, and even if his power within the GOP isn't as strong as he might like, he gets plenty of media attention. A big loss in a presidential run would put an end to that," Koppelman argued. "So it makes sense that he'd only want to throw his hat in if it were essentially part of a coronation, if other potential nominees had crumbled and the Republican Party came begging. With the 2012 primary field already looking crowded, the odds of that seem low."