Every four years it's the same: He claims he'll run for president, then doesn't
No one is better at playing footsies with the media about possibly running for president — and reliably not following through — than Newt Gingrich.
Yesterday he told the AP: “I’ve never been this serious. … It’s fair to say that by February the groundwork will have been laid to consider seriously whether or not to run.”
“Callista and I will look seriously and we’ll probably get our family totally engaged, including our two grandchildren, probably in January, 2011. … We’ll look seriously at whether or not we think its necessary to do it. And if we think it’s necessary we’ll probably do it. And if it isn’t necessary we probably won’t do it.”
One interesting part of this phenomenon — one that Gingrich has mastered because he’s been exploiting it since the 1996 cycle — is that a potential candidate can generate headlines simply by repeating the exact same formulation every few months. For instance, in December 2006, Fox News ran this story: “Gingrich Delays Announcement on Presidential Bid Until September 2007.” Then in May 2007 CBS reported: “Gingrich: No ’08 Decision Until September.”
It was way back in 1994, within a month of the Republicans’ winning the House, that the Gingrich for president stories started, pushed by Gingrich allies (National Journal fanned the presidential rumors that month, asking, “What’s Next, Mr. Speaker?”). In February of 1995, a month into his speakership, Gingrich created a new round of stories when he announced he had decided not to run for president. (“I think I should stay and focus on what I am doing and get things done,” he told the AP.)
But by June, the shell game had begun in earnest, and Gingrich had revoked his decision. The Chicago Tribune reported: “House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said Saturday he believes he has until mid-December to decide whether to run for president in 1996.” The speaker portrayed the question almost as if he had no say in the matter: “There’s a chance [I will run]. How can you tell 13 months before a convention in the age of television what’s going to happen? I can’t.”
Then on Nov. 10, after many similar stories, the Boston Globe interviewed Gingrich: ‘The Georgia Republican said he would sit down and discuss the possibility of running for president with his wife, Marianne, during the Thanksgiving holiday. ‘We just were talking a minute ago, and we haven’t made any decision,’ Gingrich said.” Later that same month, Gingrich opted out of the race.
Fifteen years later, he’s using the same basic formulations to stoke presidential speculation. About the only thing that’s changed is the name of his wife.
More Related Stories
- Limbaugh: No one willing to impeach the first black president
- Top White House aides knew about IRS probe but didn't tell Obama
- Gohmert: IRS would've "probably shot the Boston Tea Party participants"
- Oregon senator proposes appeal to Monsanto Protection Act
- Supreme Court to rule on prayer at government meetings
- Beltway scandal machine breaks, knows nothing about America
- Top GOP official: "Sometimes our party does not value" women "as much"
- Colorado Dems fight back against GOP's Voter ID measures
- Watchdogs: ABC "in danger of losing a lot of credibility" on Benghazi saga
- Father of gay high school student arrested for dating classmate speaks out
- IRS meltdown was long overdue
- Can a liberal wonk save the Senate?
- Arkansas treasurer charged with extortion
- Corporate greed is poisoning America -- literally
- The new geography of poverty
- Barack Obama: Incidental black man?
- Obama to all-male university graduates: Be the best husband to "your boyfriend or partner"
- Big Soda SNAP-ing up billions off government programs
- The truth in Kanye's anti-prison rap
- Tea Party Patriots push nationwide anti-IRS rallies
- GOP attorney general candidate tried to force women to report miscarriages to police
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11