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Teflon candidate could become next Teflon president

January 25, 2012

The one good thing to come out of the Republican presidential race of late is that now George Will no longer has to make those painful disclosures about his wife working for Rick Perry.

It was getting pretty close to being a Buford T. Justice situation, where the Southern sheriff’s son causes him so much shame that he threatens to go home and “smack your momma.”

So now that Perry has vamoosed, my favorite columnist is free to chuck three-pointers at Newt Gingrich unencumbered by the awkward truth that Perry and Newt are peas in a pod.

For example, speaking on Newt’s organizational failures, Will writes: “Busy as an intellectual beaver having big ideas by the bushel, Gingrich has neglected some mundane matters, such as getting on the Virginia and Missouri ballots. Should Prometheus have to sweat such tiresome details?”

Swish.

I still have trouble thinking that N.G. wasn’t closer to being president when he was speaker of the House than he is now. He’s been lucky. Mitt Romney could have sewn up the nomination by now if he weren’t bound and determined to wear blue jeans everywhere he goes. Blue jeans on Multimillionaire Mitt look as out of place as knickers on a squid.

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I understand that the race might be settled before I get to vote, but I plan to hang the chad for Ron Paul as president (trust me, if your satellite dish comes equipped with a Ron Paul descrambler, he makes perfect sense) and Callista Gingrich as vice president. I can’t get enough of either one of them.

But Callista, honey, stick with the pearls. I know you want to show off the bling from Tiffany’s, but heavens, those gold tire chains you’re wearing make you look like you recently raided the tomb of an Aztec sun king, or else maybe someone just gave you a Mr. T starter kit.

And speaking of retro, Newt kept reminding me of someone from a long time ago — I couldn’t put my finger on it for the longest time, and then I had it: Joe Isuzu. All that’s missing are the subtitles:
“When I was Speaker I balanced the federal budget.”
(He’s lying. He voted against a balanced budget.)
“I said to Freddie Mac at the time, this is a bubble. This is insane. This is impossible.”
(He’s lying. He actually got paid to convince conservatives on Capitol Hill that Freddie Mac’s home-loan Ponzi scheme was sustainable.)

Curiously, however, a small part of me roots for Newt in the way I rooted for George Mason when it reached the Final Four. Of all the GOP mid-majors who have come and gone since the last election cycle — Bachmann, Perry, Palin, Cain, Paul — he’s the one who’s stuck.

I have to admit, I didn’t see it coming. But Newt kind of has a Manny Ramirez thing going, where atrocities that would sink anyone else just bounce right off. Open marriages, jewelry addictions, fingerprints all over the housing crisis, congressional train wrecks, government shutdowns, corporate “historian” status, awash in money politics — it’s all just Newt being Newt.

That’s why I think he might not be a bad president. He could fire off a half-dozen nukes at Iran and the rest of the world would sit around chuckling, “Oh that Newt .... Playing around with the black box again. Well, what are you going to do?”

Although I doubt George Will is convinced.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant at www.herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable’s WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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