Hot Air and NRO’s Jonah Goldberg are reporting that Trump appears ready to settle on his pick for VP, and that the most likely candidate is former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. What do you think? Good idea or bad? If Trump in fact formally settles on Gingrich, will it help or hurt him?
My own feeling on this is that Gingrich is perhaps Trump’s best choice. Besides bringing intellectual heft — say what you will about Newt, he is tremendously intelligent — Gingrich checks off the two largest boxes that should be on Trump’s VP evaluation form. One, Gingrich brings a wealth of legislative experience that Trump wholly lacks. As Jonah Goldberg comments:
. . . Trump has said, admirably, that he wants someone who knows how Washington works. For good and for ill, Gingrich fits that bill. He understands the legislative process, knows everybody, and can navigate the vast ecosystem of lobbyists to his advantage. (Gingrich earned nearly $1.8 million from Freddie Mac serving as a consulting “historian.”) Gingrich may have mastered the language of taking on “the Washington elites,” but being one has been his job description for nearly 30 years.
Gingrich also brings to the table solid conservative credentials, something that Trump is sorely lacking. Gingrich’s signature Contract With America was the high water mark of the conservative movement in the post Reagan years. And when Gingrich ran for the Presidency in 2012, he did so as a Reagan conservative who promised to address the systemic progressive toxins that have built up in our government. That made of Gingrich a unique candidate. He wanted to reform the Courts in order to end what has become a judicial tyranny, and he wanted to finished the job he started in 1994 of reforming the regulatory bureaucracy. Reform of those two sectors go to the heart of returning our government from the anti-democratic, progressive behemoth it has become to the Constitutional Republic that our Founders designed. I was deeply sorry to see Gingrich lose the nomination in 2012 to Romney, the most milquetoast of establishment Republicans.
On a personal note, going into this election I strongly supported Ted Cruz. When he lost, I was firmly in the Never Trump camp. (I had ordered my “Bernie 2016, Let’s Bank Left Into Oblivion” signs.) I was convinced that Trump would not address any of the systemic problems of our nation, that he would be more likely to govern as a progressive, that he would make horrid choices for Supreme Court nominees, and that the media would indelibly link a disastrous Trump presidency to the conservative movement, setting actual conservatives adrift to wander in the desert for the next forty years.
Three things have changed my mind.
One, Trump put out a list of stellar choices for the Supreme Court vacancy. Currently there is one vacancy, but the reality is that the next President will likely appoint three or four Justices. Given the importance of those appointments to conservative government in the absence of court reform, that brought me to the point of agreeing to Trump as the least worst of horrid options.
My second concern was whom Trump might choose as a VP. If Trump now chooses Gingrich — someone that can exert a conservative influence and make Trump’s presidency potentially effective — that will seal the deal for me.
The third thing that changed my mind happened just yesterday. It is the fact that the left will soon nominate an unindicted felon for the Presidency. I am affronted on a visceral level that a person who so arrogantly violated our laws and who played fast and loose with our nation’s secrets so that she could skirt FOIA and Congressional oversight, that such a person might become our President. How utterly screwed is our nation if it can elect such a person to the Presidency. The decision not to indict her on the facts the FBI laid out yesterday is simply inexplicable, inexcusable, and tremendously corrosive to the rule of law. I would vote for anyone who runs in opposition to her and who has a realistic chance of winning the election. That leaves one option — Trump.
That’s the genesis of my decision now to support Trump. But there is another reason to be excited about Gingrich as his VP pick. The fact is I would pay to watch Newt Gingrich debate Elizabeth Warren and the media in a VP debate. Among Gingrich’s best qualities is that he is an exceptional debater with a command of facts and history few others possess. Pass the popcorn for that one.
So that is my thinking. While we await the return of Ms. BWR to raise the quality of this blog back to its normal level, I would be curious to hear your thoughts.