Bargaining With Newt’s Ego

Michelle Cottle speculates on what it would take to get Newt to drop out of the race (if you’re Santorum) or to stay in it (if you’re Romney). At this point, she says, he’s only still in the race “because he’s drunk on a cocktail of spite, narcissism, and general mischief.” But he may also be looking to secure some promises from the other two:

Despite Gingrich’s solid bargaining position, however, things get sticky when you start trying to envision what carrots someone could realistically offer the former speaker to cede (or not to cede) the field.

A cabinet post? Don’t bet on it. Outside conservative circles, Gingrich remains more toxic than a poison-dart frog. So with all due respect to the cabinet-stacking fantasies of the Southern Baptists’ Richard Land, who has suggested Romney could win conservative love by sending Gingrich to the United Nations, any whiff that Newt was being considered for a prominent appointment would risk sending independents and moderates stampeding toward Obama.

What about paying off Gingrich’s campaign debt? This will, of course, need to happen. The candidate already owes some staffers in the solid five figures. Romney is obviously better equipped to handle this burden than is Santorum. Then again, who’s to say what other party leaders might be inclined—and in a position—to put a thumb on the other side of the scale? All things considered, such a mundane offer doesn’t seem likely to sway Gingrich much either way.

Indeed, with a larger-than-life character like Newt, we may need to get more creative here. What, besides money and acclaim, do we know sends a thrill up the former speaker’s leg?

Zoos. Gingrich’s enthusiasm for wildlife is one of his more endearing traits. Maybe Santorum should promise to name him head of the national zoo. Alternatively, Romney could offer to buy him his own wildlife preserve.

Or dinosaurs. Of course Gingrich loves them. What overgrown kid doesn’t? Why not let this self-proclaimed “amateur paleontologist” oversee the dino hall at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History? Then there’s Civil War fiction. Gingrich has coauthored four novels about the North-South clash. Maybe it’s time some rich Hollywood conservative optioned a couple, perhaps even give Newt a bit part. Word on the street is that Mel Gibson is fresh out of anger management and ready for a new start.

Or how about offering the renowned space nut a shot at running NASA? This, to me, seems by far the most promising option. Post shuttle program, the agency hasn’t had much exciting to do, and planning moon colonies could help keep Newt contented and out of trouble.

I think they should just name him Ambassador to Crazy Town.

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  • Keep him the hell away form the Smithsonian or the National Zoo or NASA. Isn’t there an ambassadorship to a country that doesn’t matter we can give him? How about Malta or Andorra?

  • Artor

    Newticle was pretty transparently ogling Sarah Palin a while ago. Maybe he could be tempted by a reality show with her? He could get his ego strokes that way, and a shot at Mrs. Gingrich #4.

  • jamessweet

    The Newt Gingrich Memorial Zoo, featuring extra monkeys. I like it!

  • Looks like my earlier predictions of a push for a brokered convention are starting to come true. At the very least, he’ll probably push for the VP slot; and he could easily try to capitalize on right-wing distaste for Romney, to push for a white-horse nominee/savior.

    Trying to get his campaign debts paid off sounds most plausible among the options listed above; but I’m sure he knows how petty that would look, and how degrading it would be for a Big Thinker/Elder Statesman like himself to accept a mere money prize. Maybe I’m overestimating his farsightedness, but I think he wants to stay as relevant as possible for the long term.

  • ryan

    @ Artor – Oh my, just imagine if Palin and Newt had children – the mind boggles.

    Newt actually reminds me a lot of Nobby Nobbs of the Discworld city watch fame.

  • Moggie

    Send him to the moon?

  • flex


    I think Nobby has less grandiose visions and more integrity.

    Newt seems to me to be closer to Mad Lord Snapcase.

  • The Lorax

    If Romney continues this downward spiral, it very well may be Santorum and Gingrich vying for the GOP nomination, or a brokered convention. If the former, then they might team up and go for Pres and vice Pres.

    Imagine that. Santorum running for President, and Gingrich for Vice President. And Romney, trying to maintain his political career, supports both of them.

    We’re going to need a bigger popcorn tub.

  • Mr Ed

    Indeed, with a larger-than-life character like Newt, we may need to get more creative here. What, besides money and acclaim, do we know sends a thrill up the former speaker’s leg?

    While I might enjoy listening to the right try and justify human trafficking in finding the fourth Mrs. Gingrich maybe we should try the easy route first. Just dangle something shinny in front of him to distract him. The large Tiffany’s bill is how Callista kept him off the furniture.

  • ryan

    @ flex, fair point, but I must say when I was looking at the comparison I was thinking more along the lines of Nobby needing to carry a chitty proving he is human.

    Seriously all these republican clowns would make a great comedy show, in fact they do make a great comedy show. If only they weren’t in a position to actually influence policy.

  • There isn’t going to be a brokered convention; that was a pipe dream from the very start. Romney is going to win the nomination. And Newt isn’t going to get much of anything for shutting up. He doesn’t have any money left, so the best he’s gonna do is get someone to pay off his campaign debts.

  • Couldn’t think of a decent nickname


    What have Andorra or Malta ever done to deserve this mistreatment? Since Newt is such a devout catholic now send him to the Vatican – a clown ambassador for a clown ‘country’.

  • Mr Ed

    Rayn, Flex

    How about Peter Pettigrew/Scabbers from the Harry Potter universe.

  • There isn’t going to be a brokered convention; that was a pipe dream from the very start.

    The PoG is the party of pipe dreams (a brokered convention is certainly more realistic than their free-market-prosperity pipe dream), and I’m certain the radical right are dreaming real hard of a brokered convention, especially if Mutt Romney comes to the convention with as little credibility as he seems to have now. At the very least, I expect the wingnuts to make as much noise as they possibly can to get concessions from Mutt on the platform, the VP choice, and maybe some promised Cabinet posts. And I also expect the “moderates” to have absolutely no spine whatsoever in the face of yet another campaign of orchestrated hysteria and hate.

    Besides, Newt Blingirch tried to shut down the entire US government just to feed his ego; so paralyzing the Republican Party wouldn’t be much of a stretch for him.

  • UN? Zoo? Wildlife preserve? Natural history?

    Come on! Every GOP candidate has promised to invade the first, run Keystone XXL through the second, drill in the third, and have Barton and Nixon’s ghost edit the fourth.

  • arakasi

    Let’s make him Ambassador to Mars.

    A one-way trip should be technologically feasible, and he can have a shot at making Dejah Thoris the 4th Mrs Gingrich.

  • d cwilson

    I’d suggest making him the governor of the new lunar colony, but I don’t think the moon is far enough away.

  • jaycee

    Maybe offer him a 4th wife when he gets bored with #3? OK, that was a low blow, but I couldn’t resist.

    Let’s instead make him the leader of our lunar colony.

  • jnorris

    Couldn’t think in #12 has it right, The Vatican is the only place for Newter. And make him stay there for the full term, no coming back to the USA for any reason.

  • flex

    @Ryan and Mr.Ed,

    At least I think we can agree that Newt has presented himself with the attributes of a cardboard, fictional character. Maybe Yorrick Kane would be the closest equivalent.

  • flex

    @d cwilson,,

    Gravity is a harsh mistress.

  • John Hinkle

    Why should Newt get anything? He deserves no better than a doorknob in the ass as he exits.

  • vmanis1

    This is one of the areas where Canada is far in advance of the U.S. The upper house of our parliament, the Senate, is currently composed of appointed hacks whose sole purpose is to accommodate the will of the government. While a few able individuals have been appointed there (presumably by accident), the majority of the Senators are in a place where nothing they do can have any effect at all, positive or negative. (It is thus similar to the 19th century British House of Lords, as described by W.S. Gilbert, in Iolanthe: `I don’t want to say a word against brains—I’ve a great respect for brains—I often wish I had some myself—but with a House of Peers composed exclusively of people of intellect, what’s to become of the House of Commons?’ and `And while the House of Peers withholds/Its legislative hand,/And noble statesmen do not itch/To interfere with matters which/They do not understand,/As bright will shine Great Britain’s rays,/As in King George’s glorious days!’)

    The Canadian Senate is thus an excellent place to deposit party bagmen, shills, and the other detritus of politics. Newt would fit in very nicely.

    Unfortunately, this excellent system is under attack, with ridiculous calls for a `triple-E’ Senate, elected, equal, and effective. Presumably the people who want this (almost all at the conservative end of the spectrum) are admirers of the U.S. Congress, and the ability for its two equal houses to Get Things Done.

  • Martin, heading for geezerhood

    @jnorris #12:

    Oooh, Ambassador to the Vatican, I like it…and he can only return if he brings Cardinal Law back with him (preferably in irons).

  • StevoR

    Neither Mittens Rmoney nor Santorum that is called santorum are in any position to offer Newt anything. In part thanks to Newt.

    Santorum won’t win the nomination and Mutt won’t win the presidency.

    Yep, its 8 months away still but basically -barringsomething extraordinary happening – it is all decided :

    Obama will win another term, Romney will be his easily defeated opponent and only the ‘i”s dotting and ‘t’s crossing are left to witness.

    Wonder what Obama will offer the Ultimate Deep Cover Liberal Newt in gratitude for his help demolishing the 2012 Republican freakshow, er, I mean presidential campaign?

  • dingojack

    Wow haven’t done one of these in while.

    Intrade taday

    Winner of the presidential election


    Democratic: 60.16% [down 0.3976% since 15/03; lead by 21.321%]

    Republican: 38.839% [” 0.0058% ” since 15/03]

    other: 1.001% [up 0.4034% since 15/03]

    Head-to-head match-up between front-runners

    Obama 61.459% vs. Romney 38.541% [Obama leads by 22.919%]

    Republican candidates

    Chance of getting nominated

    Romney: ca. 31 to 30 [up 4.828% since 15/03]

    Paul/Santorum: ca. 1111 to 15 [up 0.292% & down 4.688%, respectively]

    Gingrich: 321 to 1 [down 0.431%]

    Chance of getting nominated and winning Presidency

    Romney: ca. 8 to 3

    Paul/Santorum: ca. 78040 to 7

    Gingrich: 192279 to 1



    Romney gains seem to come at the expense of Santorum (guess all that ‘crazy talk’ is making Republicans hold their noses)

    Stick a fork in it Amphibian – it’s done!


  • StevoR “Wonder what Obama will offer the Ultimate Deep Cover Liberal Newt in gratitude for his help demolishing the 2012 Republican freakshow, er, I mean presidential campaign?”

    If he did that for Newt, he’d have to do it for all of them.