Run, Newt, run!

The former House speaker is, once again, publicly mulling a presidential campaign.

Published March 6, 2009 4:15PM (EST)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is, and not for the first time, making a very public show of considering a run for the presidency.

"Callista and I will look seriously and we'll probably get our family totally engaged, including our two grandchildren, probably in January 2011," Gingrich told reporters recently, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

"We'll look seriously at whether or not we think it's 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."

Gingrich also publicly debated the idea of making a run in 2008 before ultimately deciding against it. Based on the signs he gave then, it really seems as if he'll only run if he's got a clear shot at the Republican nomination, with primary voters unhappy about their choices and clamoring for him or someone like him to enter the race. Given the field already shaping up, that seems unlikely for 2012, but of course, anything can happen.

Besides, as Politico's Ben Smith points out, Gingrich would have a very tough time getting elected. When you're as well-known he is, it's hard to change people's opinion of you, and 47 percent of Americans already have an unfavorable opinion of him.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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