Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich? Could we call them the odd couple? Could they be the match that the Republicans need?
While Newt Gingrich continues his now hopeless quest to become the Republican Nominee, and Mitt Romney is now considering his options for a running mate, perhaps there is one option neither of them has considered.
What is it?
Does anyone remember 1980? Ronald Reagan had won the Republican nomination. There were still some floor fights going on, as Reagan had to decide who his running mate would be.
Then an idea was floated up. To “help” Reagan, former President Gerald Ford would be the Vice Presidential nominee and “co-President.”
That idea was never going to work for any number of reasons, not the least of which is how does everyone deal with a former President who is now the Vice President?
But the idea was not necessarily a bad one and it is now one Mitt Romney should resurrect.
First, Newt Gingrich brings an unbelievable tenacity to the plate. Gingrich continues to fight on, even though he knows his cause is lost. When the Navy puts recruits through what is called BUDS, which is the basic underwater demolition school or Navy Seals basic training, they throw everything they can at the Seal candidates. It is not to find the most physically fit guys for the program. Instead, they want the guys who will not quit.
That is Gingrich. He will not quit.
He has been through three or possibly four spots in the campaign where he could have bailed and no one would have argued about it. Tim Pawlenty got out when he hit the first bump in the road.
Gingrich is the idea man that Romney is not. Romney is a product of the Harvard Business School. His idea of fixing problems is solving for x. Life is not an algebra problem or even a business school problem. You need creativity and outside of the box thinking. Those are not Romney’s strong points.
They are Newt’s.
Before the race officially ran down, what was Obama attacking? It was not Romney’s plans. It was not Santorum’s plans. It was third place Newt Gingrich’s ideas for $2.50 a gallon gas.
Newt makes a great attack dog, which is a role traditional for a Vice Presidential candidate. This is what Newt does so well. He owns the media. When he fights the media, the media loses. He is the Chuck Norris of political media.
Finally, Newt is the conservative that Romney needs. Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online claimed Romney was a “late convert to conservatism” and has trouble speaking the language.
No, he isn’t a late convert to conservatism. He is not a conservative. He cannot speak the language because he does not know the language.
Newt knows it because he is a conservative.
Can you imagine Newt as the nominee? While a debate between Newt and Obama would have been fun, can you imagine the debate between Newt and Biden? They would have to have a mercy rule in place to save Biden from running, screaming into the night.
Romney is an intelligent guy. There is no question about it. There is also no question he has a lot of shortcomings too. So does Newt. So does everyone.
Romney has been running for President for seven years now. If his goal is simply more than residing at the White House for four years, he needs someone to fill in his weaknesses and actually help him as a co-President.
Romney has to choose someone. Romney’s instinct will be to make a safe choice. He can choose someone like Mitch Daniels or Rob Portman and watch the conservative movement be as unenthused about him as we were about John McCain. He can choose a liberal running mate and watch us walk. Or he can go outside the box. He can choose someone who has the vision to fundamentally transform this nation.
Last week, I was at Herman Cain’s Revolution on the Hill. Pundit Dick Morris said that twenty years from now, Republicans would be having “Lincoln-Reagan-Romney” dinners. Morris predicted that Romney would be a great President. Romney is a manager and he thinks he can manage America into greatness. If he wants to be a great President, he needs someone who can help him with the great ideas and vision that will move America back to the greatness we knew in the days of Reagan.
Newt is the guy who can do this.