Second Fiddle is Better Than No Fiddle At All

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is warning of a coming revolt should Republicans fail to collect themselves and gain the trust of voters. Gingrich has plenty of criticism for Democrats and President Obama as well but adds that the current spending binge began under President Bush. He believes GOP voters will peel off to form a third party if they don't see Republicans becoming a viable, governing force again soon.

Gingrich, who is mulling a presidential bid in 2012, sounds worried. The question is, do other Republicans feel the same way but are just afraid to articulate it? Or is the denial as deep as it appears?

In my column this week, I agreed that the GOP needs to get it together, and soon. I also noted that Gingrich had been invited to headline the fundraising dinner in June after the National Republican Senatorial Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee, a second choice after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was dumped as keynote speaker. Palin's staff went back and forth so many times on whether or not she had truly accepted the invitation and committed to the event that the NRSC and NRCC had no choice but to move on with someone whose name on the invitation would match the speaker who showed up at the dinner.

Palin was the Republicans' original choice because she was considered a bold, fresh face for the GOP — part of the new generation of leaders, the committees said, who would be helping the party to rebuild. Gingrich is hardly the “breath of fresh air from the business-as-usual crowd in Washington” that Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) called Palin, but at this point Gingrich is all they've got. And he is interested in helping them rebuild.


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