Aloha, Newt

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 17 2011 2:16 PM

Aloha, Newt

114168152
Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Burns and Haberman report, with as much deadpan delivery as they can muster, that Newt Gingrich will be spending at least three campaign days in Hawaii. The campaign points out that he'll be in California right before this -- although a flight from, say LAX to Honolulu is longer than a flight from LAX to Des Moines -- and that it's his wedding anniversary. To which I say: Fantastic! If you're still donating to the Gingrich campaign at this point, you probably don't mind him using your money to walk on a particularly scenic beach with Callista.

It raises a question, though. Why is Gingrich in presidential debates while Buddy Roemer and Gary Johnson are excluded from them? "Because he's polling better than they are," you say? True, but he's polling worse than he did when he got into the race, and no one, with a straight face, can explain how Gingrich will win the nomination next year.* He's on the down slope, but they aren't even allowed on the slope. Both of them have held office, and Johnson has held it more recently than Gingrich. Do we want to argue that Gingrich brings more ideas to the debates? Well, Johnson and Roemer are running on heterodox ideas, and nothing but -- Johnson's for balancing the budget this year and pulling out of basically all foreign entanglements, while Roemer's running on campaign finance reform and tariffs. Anyway, if "he can't win, but he introduces some interesting ideas" is the criterion for a debate, why not let Cornel West up there?

Advertisement

*I suppose you could bring back the old formulation Al Franken used to game out a 1996 Arlen Specter nomination. Every other Republican candidate could be riding a bus that crashes. Even then, you probably get an open convention that nominates Christie/Rubio.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Right of Free Speech
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 4:14 PM Planet Money Uncovers One Surprising Reason the Internet Is Sexist
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.