Five Questions for @GingrichIdeas

Five Questions for @GingrichIdeas

Five Questions for @GingrichIdeas

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 27 2012 3:46 PM

Five Questions for @GingrichIdeas

For the last few months, journos and gawkers have thrilled to the observations of @GingrichIdeas. It was a parody account, avatar'd by an image of the speaker wearing glasses, and in the words of my colleague Matthew Yglesias it offered "rapid-fire ideas. Big ones. Launched into orbit with a perfect dry wit and no commentary."

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David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post. 

It will come to an end next week, as Newt Gingrich's drawn-out farewell process reaches its end. I reached out to the tweeter to discuss what he'd miss.

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How does it feel?

Amazing. I'm still shocked that so many people followed the account. When I started it, I thought it would be great if I got to 1,000 followers. I'm definitely ready for it to end, though. I expected Newt to drop out months ago.

How much Newt news did you consume? Every debate? Every news cycle?

I follow political news pretty closely, so I didn't have to make much of an adjustment for Gingrich Ideas. I relied on Twitter and news sites for all of my updates. If Newt was delivering one of his many non-concession concession speeches, I would try to live tweet it.

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Will you keep this up now that Newt is reclaiming the mantle of a Citizen?

I'll be done Gingrich tweeting after Newt officially drops out on Tuesday. Frankly (so to speak), I'm running out ofideas. The account, however, will remain active so that the confused people who tweet angry anti-Newt messages at it can continue to have an outlet for their rage.

Be honest: Did Newt have any good ideas? Which ones?

I don't know if I would use the word "good," but there is something kind of awesome about his science-fiction -based ideas. Building a moon base would be terribly impractical, but it's also what I dreamed 2012 would be like when I was a little kid. Newt is the guy who didn't give up on that dream. It's hard not to respect that.

What was the thinking behind the modal Newt idea? When did you write them?

I tried to deliver the tweets with as little explanation as possible because that best reflects Newt's style. It's self-evident that his ideas are brilliant, and he's not going to lower himself to explaining them to people who can't see his vision. Most of the ideas followed a "social problem plus weirdly cruel and/or science fictiony solution" formula. Although I deviated from that as time went on and included more current events commentary. Regardless, I would tried to frame the idea as a checklist item in Newt's brain, whether it was a policy idea or campaign scheming.

I tweeted whenever an idea came to me. The best ones I didn't have to think about. 

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.