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Why Newt Gingrich for VP Is Pure Genius

Why Newt Gingrich for VP Is Pure Genius

By Wednesday, 25 May 2016 11:32 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The media still can’t figure out why Newt Gingrich is at the very top of Donald Trump’s VP list.

A recent Slate article starts this way: “Donald Trump selecting Newt Gingrich as his running mate would be insane.” The writer asserts Gingrich would be the “perfect” pick for Trump, implying the GOP front-runner is crazy as well.

Call Donald Trump a lot of things; crazy is not one of them.

Controversial, audacious, sometimes brash and extreme — all yes.

But the primaries have shown Trump is a brilliant communicator and master tactician. “Crazy” like a fox, perhaps.

Recently, I had lunch with a group of GOP billionaires and power brokers. The group had various feelings about Trump, pro and con. But all were dazzled by his ability to win a hotly contested Republican primary “all by himself,” as one of the attendees put it. (Billionaires hate spending money; that’s how they become rich. So they admire Trump for his “no-frills” approach.)

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Trump doesn’t think like a politician — and that's been his greatest strength with the public.

When a “normal” presidential candidate looks at picking a vice presidential running mate, the candidate usually weighs what a selection brings to the ticket. Does the prospect carry a state? Would a woman, black or Hispanic help with one of those groups? Those are the questions, and others, asked by the candidates and their closest advisers.

Trump wouldn’t ask those questions. He believes he is going to win this election himself.

He will win women, blacks, and Hispanics by what he says and does. Having a woman on his ticket, for example, doesn’t close the gender gap in polls. That’s the way his mind thinks.

He also approaches things in phases.

He had to do X to win the primary. Now he has to do Y to win the general. When he becomes president, he will do Z.

In each phase, 90 percent of his thinking, strategy, and approach goes into succeeding in that immediate goal. He will worry about the next phase after he overcomes the immediate hurdle.

Every other presidential candidate in modern history had teams of foreign, domestic, and political advisers around them even before winning the nomination, let alone the election. Trump doesn’t. Wrong phase. He figures he’ll spend time and effort on forming a government if he wins — that’s the next phase.

The problem this presents is obvious.

He won’t have a government in waiting, and he won’t have enough time to organize one between his election and before his inauguration. (My own prediction: It will take at least a year for him to organize his top government appointments after taking the oath. Obama holdovers could continue to run a government for a year or even longer.)

As focused as he is on winning, Trump’s vice presidential choice is really about the next phase. In Trump World, he would prefer to pick his vice-president after he wins, but the Constitution doesn’t provide for this. So he has to make this decision now, one that impacts this phase but is more about the next phase.

Newsmax’s White House correspondent John Gizzi was the first to break the story that Newt was at the very top of Trump’s VP list.

Gizzi outlined Trump’s reasons: He likes Newt; Newt has been a supporter and can be trusted; Newt is a great communicator and will win debates; Newt has been “vetted” by previous races and intense media scrutiny; Newt knows how government works, especially Congress; Newt is both an insider and well-liked by grass-roots conservatives.

Trump also realizes, in this phase, he needs to move to the center, and even take some liberal positions.

But his right flank remains soft and very vulnerable. Newt Gingrich helps here as he gets high marks from all the core GOP constituencies: He is pro-life and pro-gun; he is a fiscal and defense hawk; and on foreign policy he is about as pro-Israel as Moses.

There has been a flurry of press speculation that Trump may be considering Sen. Bob Corker as his running mate. Corker would be a poor choice. He’s not popular among conservatives, and his establishment credentials are weak. (His biggest legislative achievement was joining with a handful of Republican senators who backed Obama’s faulty New START treaty with Russia — a treaty Russians have already violated. Obama promised gullible Corker to modernize our nuclear arsenal in return for his vote — a promise Obama never kept.)

Gingrich, on the other hand, knows how to seal the deal. He worked incredibly well in negotiating deals with the Clinton administration that slashed spending and ended welfare.

Gingrich will also be reassuring to many GOP donors, especially the ideological ones Trump would like to attract. He was supported by billionaire Sheldon Adelson in his 2012 race against Romney, and the two remain close.

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He also brings another bonus: his wife Callista. A best-selling author and commentator, she has become an influence in her own right among Republican women.

So, when the liberal media says choosing Newt Gingrich as vice president is “insane,” it’s another good reason for Trump to pick him.

Christopher Ruddy is CEO and editor of Newsmax Media Inc. Read more Christopher Ruddy Insider articles — Click Here Now.

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The media still can’t figure out why Newt Gingrich is at the very top of Donald Trump’s VP list.
newt, gingrich, trump, vice president
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 11:32 AM
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