The Corner

Newt’s Plan

I must say, I don’t understand it.

Front porch candidacies are hardly unheard of in American history. Indeed, they were once pretty much the norm. But those were the days when party bosses picked candidates. Newt’s ideas will have to be super-duper compelling for him to be “drafted” by the Republican Party since there really isn’t a Republican Party in the old-fashioned sense any more. There are no brokered conventions. You have to win primaries if you want to be president and while I think very highly of Newt’s intellect and all that, I don’t think ideas get sold in this country unless someone is actually selling them. And in this context, that means you need to campaign. And that means you need to run.

Now, again I should make with the full disclosure. My bride, Jessica the Fair, is a consultant for Newt. And I suppose at some point I’ll be able to ask him about all this personally. Regardless, as for my own biases and preferences for ‘08, I’m still on the fence and I won’t let the incandescent brilliance of Newt’s intellect — displayed so powerfully in his hiring decisions — influence me in any way.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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