Will Newt Be the Next Nixon?

After late-'90s stumble, Gingrich poised for a similar comeback
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2010 11:25 AM CDT
Will Newt Be the Next Nixon?
Newt Gingrich speaks during an American Solutions rally Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

A decade ago, it looked like Newt Gingrich was a political goner; now, he looks poised to run for president in 2012. The question is “whether or not it is practical, which I increasingly think it is,” he said. Gingrich is certainly playing the part of the candidate—campaigning for others across the country, raising millions for his party, "transitioning" his four businesses so they don't become political obstacles. And if he can pull it off, it'll be the "greatest political resurrection since Richard Nixon," writes Karen Tumulty in the Washington Post.

That name actually gets floated often among Gingrich's friends and advisers, and Tumulty notes that his strategy bears similarities to Nixon's own in 1966, some six years after he lost the presidential election. "He and his young aide Pat Buchanan worked the 'rubber chicken circuit' like no one before had, collecting chits that Nixon cashed in on his way to the nomination two years later." It may be working: Gingrich was among the top contenders in a poll for the “most important” Republican leader, and if Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee don’t run, there’s “a wide-open place for Newt," said a former congressman. "Newt's advantage is that everybody thinks he's the intellectual leader of the party. He's the idea factory." (More Newt Gingrich stories.)

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