Monday, September 24, 2007

Is Newt Running? We Doubt It.


Awhile back we forecast that Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich would both enter the Republican presidential nomination contest, while Al Gore would stay out on the Democratic side.


Thompson is in, with as good a chance as anyone else at this point.


What about Newt? We sense he's conflicted. On the one hand, there's clearly no front-runner for the GOP nomination. Newt would probably initially show up in the low teens in polls and have about as good a chance--at least on paper--as anyone else. But we just don't see him winning.


On the other hand, it's going to be an expensive, grueling race, and maybe not that much fun. So much time will have to be spent on fund-raising that it really begins to look ugly.


So what Newt has done is to set a very high bar: he says he wants to run, but he'll only do so if he can obtain $30 million in pledges before the end of October. Well, since his PAC has about $3 million already, he's a good 10 percent of the way home.


We now think he won't run, at least if he means what he says (and who in this particular crowd does?). There's no way Newt is going to round up that kind of money in a few weeks. In the good ol' days--think Nixon and Bebe Rebozo--it would have been a cinch. Go to a few rich, crooked cronies and you're all set. But to get to $30 million, Newt will need pledges of the maximum contribution from roughly 13,000 donors. He'll need to round up about 400 such pledges per day between now and Halloween to pull that off.


Of course, Newt knows $30 million is just about impossible--no one else has pulled that off in a single quarter so far, and it's getting late. So we figure he put the bar high to give him an excuse not to run, while at the same time reasoning that if he somehow could reach that Andean plateau then, by golly, he ought to run.


Stay tuned for the late October announcement that Newt has decided to sit it out (and, eventually, endorse his pal Fred Thompson).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Newt's Amercian Solutions has to be the best political idea in years and it very well may have some legs. It could not be a coincidence that Newt followed Clinton on the Sunday morning talk shows and a re-run ran Sunday morning on CSPAN with him. He could be setting the stage for a great run or the platform to springboard him to a VP node. NOT a single candidate on either side can out debate him on the issues and the historical significance of them.

Third Rail said...

Check out the hit piece on Fred Thompson, including a few things the media never talks about. To read it go to thirdrailradio.blogspot.com

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