A friend e-mails:
I think the dispositional defects you mention will prevent him from getting the nomination, but as pure political strategy, his health care heresy might actually be a good idea.
Gingrich has to be self aware enough that he’s not going to get the nomination as the establishment candidate. Too many people in DC know him too well. (Kind of like McCain in 2000). But this isn’t 2000, where GWB consolidated establishment support. A very large chunk of the primary electorate is probably uncomfortable with Medicare changes, and Gingrich is giving them conservative sounding language (“social engineering”) to resist the changes. There’s some pretty large market share there that I doubt other candidates are willing to grab.
Will it work? I doubt it. But it does seem to be his only plausible path to the nomination.