Can Newt Gingrich win in 2012?

Newt Gingrich said last Sunday on “Fox News Sunday” he was going to decide if he was running for President or not in February, which of course now makes his annual speech at CPAC that much more eagerly anticipated. We’ve heard this from him before, but my question isn’t if he will run…but should he run?

I think he’s running this time. Quite frankly, if he doesn’t do is this year he never will. However I was at a Young Republican brunch yesterday, and a member of our Contrarian Caucus (who is also a member of the Shut Up and Govern Caucus) went off because if he runs, the Dems/media will destroy him. They pretend to like him now as an analyst, but once he runs they’re going to break into the vault of opposition research they have on him, roll a few fat ones, and have a Luau.

My friend is probably right, and I’m not necessary saying that I would support Newt once we know who our candidates are (this month I’m in the Mitch Daniels camp). I still want him to run though because, quite simply, all throughout 2011, I want the debate.

Actually, before we even get to the debate, I want to see if Gingrich puts his money where his mouth is. All throughout the 2008 elections he was promoting not only more debates…but actual debates. Each of the candidates debating each other one on one, multiples times, for the entire year. Instead of sixty seconds here with a thirty second rebuttal, thought out and nuance questions and answers worth of the ginormous issues this country faces. When it comes to jobs, education, jobs, health care, and whatever else, Gingrich has the ideas while most others just have the catch phrases.

He might not win Iowa and South Carolina (Huckabee or Daniels) or New Hampshire and Michigan (Romney, possible Pawlenty in NH), but he’ll if not out debate anyone else running, set the standard high enough that all of our candidates are going to step up their game. Let’s face it, regardless of how bad President Obama’s poll numbers are now or then, we’re still going to need to “bring it” in 2012 if we have any chance of winning the White House.

Newt Gingrich might not be the one to beat Obama, but simply having him mixing it up in debates and throughout the primaries will better prepare the person who does.

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