‘Brilliant, with Baggage’

by Robert Costa

Ed Rollins on Gingrich ’12:

I don’t believe Gingrich will win the Republican nomination, but the process will gain immeasurably by his participation. He will lecture, educate, preach, entertain and if he doesn’t self-destruct will be one of the final players.

Newt has 25 new ideas every hour. Some inspired, some ridiculous and sometimes he can’t tell the difference. He loves the sound of his own voice and often is not careful in what he says. But he is always entertaining and intellectually stimulating. He will shake up this race up and those who debate him better come prepared. He is formidable in any setting.

My old boss Ronald Reagan made a career out of being underestimated.

The late governor of California, Edmond G. “Pat” Brown, father of the state’s present governor, couldn’t wait in 1966 to run against Reagan, the former actor. President Jimmy Carter felt the same in 1980, and saw his road to re-election through Ronald Reagan. Obviously both of their campaigns failed: Reagan was elected governor and ultimately president, defeating both men by landslides.

Newt is not Ronald Reagan, but he was an advocate and key supporter of him throughout his presidency. He evolved from a Rockefeller Republican to the staunchest defender of Reagan conservatism. To those who dismiss a Gingrich candidacy, be prepared to see him dominate the agenda with things that need to be debated and solutions that are different.

The former House speaker will announce his intention to explore a run later today.

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