Tucker Carlson, appearing on Fox News today, drooled all over Newt Gingrich as the guy who's grabbed the Golden Ring of the leaderless Republican Party:
Carlson: Yeah, this is about who's going to lead the Republican Party, not simply who's going to be the chosen presidential candidate in '12. But who's gonna be the soul of the party?
And there are a bunch of different elements here. I think Sarah Palin's presence, as always, brings a lot of excitement, also a lot of drama. And so a lot of stories going into this were about whether she will arrive in the first place, or whether she'll show up, whether she'll talk. Probably not a good storyline for the GOP.
Newt Gingrich, looks to me, is emerging as, certainly the intellectual center of the Republican Party -- the smartest, most energetic guy, and I think last night, kind of, is -- part of the process is solidifying that. Newt Gingrich is, I believe, running for president, and he's certainly the guy people are looking to for ideas in the Republican Party.
The deisgnated Fox liberal, Peter Mirijanian, manages to sound a note of skepticism:
I have some issues with Gingrich. It's kind of like 'Back to the Future' with him. I don't know if he necessarily is the face they want to put forward.
Yeah, you could say that, since a large chunk of the country sees him as a lying, bomb-chucking little troll.
But the best part of the whole exchange comes when Martha MacCallum, the Fox host, compares Gingrich to Ronald Reagan:
MacCallum: You know, Tucker, you think back to Ronald Reagan, who sort of, you know, entertained the idea of running for president for some time, and then kind of, you know, made a comeback later on. Do you see Newt Gingrich having sort of a similar path? Do you think he wants to run?
Carlson: I think Gingrich does want to run. I think Reagan was a little bit differently positioned, perhaps, coming from having served as governor of California than Newt is.
Well, Reagan, never exactly made a "comeback" -- he just was forced to hold off on his presidential aspirations during Nixon's presidency, and immediately continued his ascension up GOP ranks thereafter.
But if you're talking about Republican political comebacks, why not mention the most famous of these: The Tricky One himself? After all, Gingrich's planned comeback from defeat and disgrace is much more reminiscent of that than anything Reagan achieved.
Hmmmm, maybe that isn't the image wants to be projecting.