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“Licking The Bully’s Boots”: Why Would Anyone Want To Be Trump’s VP?

Let’s be honest – Donald Trump is definitely not a team player. A cursory look at his business, entertainment and political careers tells us that, other than family, his litigious bullying means that he usually goes it alone. That’s why we’ve seen so much upheaval among his campaign staff. He tends to be drawn to the most unsavory of characters (Roy Cohn and Paul Manafort) as mentors/partners. But mostly he likes people he can bully. That’s what Mark Bowden reports from the time he spent with Trump back in 1996.

Trump struck me as adolescent, hilariously ostentatious, arbitrary, unkind, profane, dishonest, loudly opinionated, and consistently wrong. He remains the most vain man I have ever met. And he was trying to make a good impression…

It was hard to watch the way he treated those around him, issuing peremptory orders—“Polish this, Tony. Today.” He met with the lady who selected his drapery for the Florida estate—“The best! The best! She’s a genius!”—who had selected a sampling of fabrics for him to choose from, all different shades of gold. He left the choice to her, saying only, “I want it really rich. Rich, rich, elegant, incredible.” Then, “Don’t disappoint me.”…

What was clear was how fast and far one could fall from favor. The trip from “genius” to “idiot” was a flash. The former pilots who flew his plane were geniuses, until they made one too many bumpy landings and became “fucking idiots.” The gold carpeting selected in his absence for the locker rooms in the spa at Mar-a-Lago? “What kind of fucking idiot . . . ?”

We’ve seen the same kind of thing in how he has treated Republicans who have been willing to lick the bully’s boots.

As others have noted, Trump really isn’t that interested in winning the support of fellow politicians. He is a bully, and what he craves is their submission. Once Chris Christie endorsed him, Trump took visible joy in treating the New Jersey governor as a personal lackey, publicly poking fun at his weight and even telling him that he could no longer eat Oreos.

The dilemma is that no matter what you do, Trump’s goal is to make you lose. If you cross him – as Republican Susana Martinez did – you get clobbered. And if you submit, you get clobbered. That’s because, in Donald Trump’s mind, he always has to be the winner and he has no respect for losers.

So now we’re at the point in the 2016 presidential race when all eyes turn to who Trump will pick for the ultimate team-player spot – vice president. Yesterday Sen. Bob Corker wisely withdrew from this contest and it looks as if Sen. Joni Ernst has as well.

What I find interesting is that two of the guys who still seem to be in the running know a thing or two about being a bully themselves – Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie. I’m sure they are both smart enough to know what it means to play on “Team Trump.” So why are they so gung- ho to do so?

First of all, I suspect that they both think that they are smarter bullies and can out-Trump him. That’s what narcissists usually assume. But I also suspect that they have calculated that if Trump actually makes it to the White House, he won’t last long. Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell have already suggested that there are “Constitutional remedies” if he were to veer off course. In other words, he would be impeached and his vice president would be the man left standing. Neither Gingrich or Christie want to be Trump’s lapdog permanently. They want to be president and see Donald Trump as a way to get there.

 

By: Nancy LeTourneau, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, July 7, 2016

July 7, 2016 Posted by | Chris Christie, Donald Trump, GOP Vice President Candidate, Newt Gingrich | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Politically Inconvenient Truths”: Gingrich Shows How Far He’ll Go To Be Vice President

One month ago today, Newt Gingrich was asked to comment on Donald Trump’s racist remarks about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, and the former House Speaker was surprisingly candid. “This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made,” Gingrich said, adding that the presidential hopeful’s comments were “inexcusable.”

A few days later, however, the Georgia Republican remembered that he might be a top contender to become Trump’s running mate – which led Gingrich to walk back everything he’d just said. The former Speaker told CNN that Trump is “learning very, very fast” and taking the necessary steps “to win the presidency.”

What about Trump’s “inexcusable” mistake? “Any effort to take one or two phrases out of the 90-minute dialogue and say, ‘Gee, Gingrich was anti-Trump,’ is just nonsense,” he said.

Late last week, as Politico noted, we saw a related shift.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, under consideration as Donald Trump’s running mate, is dropping his decades-long support of free trade deals and picking up Trump’s strongly protectionist position.

“I basically agree with Trump’s speech on trade,” Gingrich said in an email to POLITICO on Friday.

Gingrich wasn’t just a passive proponent of modern trade agreements; he championed many of the trade deals Trump is now running against. Trump, for example, has repeatedly condemned NAFTA, which Gingrich not only voted, he also literally stood alongside then-President Bill Clinton when it was signed into law.

 Slate’s Josh Voorhees added that Gingrich continued to voice support for trade agreements after he was driven from Congress, including having been “a vocal cheerleader of permanent trade relations with China.”

That is, until Gingrich decided he had a shot at the VP slot, at which point he discovered he “basically agrees” with the presidential candidate he’s eager to impress.

So, here’s my question: if the vice presidential nomination goes to someone else, will Gingrich go back to his previous beliefs or stick with these politically convenient new ones?

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, June 5, 2016

July 6, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Vice-President Candidates | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Serial Husbands”: A Trump-Gingrich Ticket Would Make A Mockery Of Family Values

If, as some pundits are speculating, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald John Trump picks Newton Leroy Gingrich as his running mate, the two will go down in history as a presidential ticket unrivaled in its mockery of this country’s most traditional and honored symbol of commitment: holy matrimony. Trump and Gingrich, two standard-bearers of family values, are serial husbands. Between them, the two have had six wives.

Let us count the ways.

Fifty-four years ago, at age 19, Gingrich married his 26-year-old former high school geometry teacher. He left her in the spring of 1980. However, he did return to see her. Gingrich dropped by the hospital where she was getting treatment for cancer to discuss divorce terms. Formally divorced in 1981, Gingrich got married six months later.

That marriage lasted until 2000. By his own admission, Gingrich started an affair with a woman 23 years his junior during his second marriage. Incidentally, it was around the time Gingrich was taking Bill Clinton to task over Monica Lewinsky.

Gingrich’s second marriage ended in 2000, and he married his then-girlfriend, the current Mrs. Gingrich, the same year.

Trump had to play catch-up to Gingrich.

The real estate mogul didn’t land his first wife until 1977. A few years later, however, 40-year-old Trump started dating a 23-year-old beauty pageant winner. That little affair on the side apparently went swimmingly until girlfriend and wife No. 1 ran into each other on the ski slopes in Aspen. That didn’t go so well.

The angry wife filed for divorce, which reportedly was quite messy. Trump married girlfriend, and went on to run up boodles of debt. By 1999 and with hard work, however, Trump wiped out his financial misfortune, and shed his second wife.

He continued dating the woman he was seeing while married to wife No. 2. In 2005, Trump made that girlfriend wife No. 3, about five years after Gingrich married for the third time.

Both men are now tied for the lead.

And, if a Trump-Gingrich ticket is successful in November, could we witness a tiebreaker and fourth nuptial in the White House?

What, in the name of the nuclear family and a moral society, will Donald Trump do next?

Afraid to ask.

 

By: Colbert I. King, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, July 1, 2016

July 2, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Family Values, Newt Gingrich | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Can Newt Gingrich Save the GOP?”: He’s Trying To Play Peacemaker Between Republicans And The Trump Campaign

The Republican Party’s establishment is slowly coming to terms with a tough reality: Donald Trump will be the nominee, and resistance is futile.

Newt Gingrich is the latest party elder to try and normalize the ever-increasing possibility of a Trump presidency, visiting with top GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill earlier this week to pave the way for a future working relationship.

“The time is coming when you’ve got to put the party back together,” Gingrich told The Daily Beast.

Asked whether he was meeting with GOP leaders about Trump, Gingrich indicated it was more of a casual conversation—but confirmed that he has spoken with party leadership about starting the healing process—no matter which of the four candidates end up winning the nomination.

Behind the scenes, however, Gingrich’s outreach is more obvious. None of the other remaining Republican nominees would require the kind of healing that a Trump presidency would demand.

“Newt has been on the Hill sharing his views on how Congress could work with a Trump administration,” a Republican leadership aide told The Daily Beast. “Gingrich is trying to legitimize Trump while Mitt Romney and others are out there saying he’s terrible. Gingrich is saying that Trump’s positions are valid—he’s trying to add legitimacy to Trump while everyone else is doing the opposite.”

Gingrich visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday to sit down with Speaker Ryan and hold a Facebook Q&A. Just the day before, Gingrich waxed poetic about Trump’s “seriousness” and “shift toward inclusiveness” following the Super Tuesday primaries.

Trump’s shift toward inclusiveness, team effort and unity was vitally important. He has to build a Reagan like inclusiveness to win this fall

— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) March 2, 2016

Trump’s decision to hold a serious press conference instead of a campaign speech was masterful and a great contrast to Cruz and Rubio.

— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) March 2, 2016

During one meeting, a leadership aide said, Gingrich said he had been in quiet talks with the Trump campaign.

But Gingrich has stopped “short of endorsing Trump publicly because he knows it’s not the right way to win over conservatives who are alarmed by Trump’s policy positions and rhetoric,” said the aide.

Publicly Gingrich has walked a fine line: praising Trump without quite endorsing him.

“He is a man totally unique. He lives life at a 100 percent pace. I have never seen anything like it,” Gingrich cooed on Fox News Thursday evening. “If he becomes president, there is going to be a wall.”

The former House speaker added, “I don’t mind people saying, ‘I don’t want Trump.’ I mind people saying, ‘I’ll never vote for him.’ I think faced with Hillary [Clinton] as an alternative, that’s a very dangerous position.”

Trump was right to skip CPAC. The votes are in Kansas not Washington. Why give the anti-trump activists a target

— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) March 4, 2016

Gingrich is hardly the only Republican leader, in recent weeks, to make peace with the idea of Donald Trump as the party’s nominee.

“There is so much at stake… however you disagree with Cruz or Rubio or Trump, the moderate Republican Party is going to coalesce against Hillary. She’s the uniter not a divider, she’s going to unite the Republican Party,” Grover Norquist, the anti-tax crusader, told The Daily Beast. “There were a number of significant Republicans who came out against Goldwater, there were people that talked about doing this against Reagan, but I don’t know that anybody significant did it after the primary.”

 

By: Jackie Kucinich and Tim Mak, The Daily Beast, March 4, 2016

March 6, 2016 Posted by | Conservatives, Donald Trump, Establishment Republicans, Newt Gingrich | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Burning Down The House”: Newt Gingrich’s Mean-Spirited Republican Party Lives On In Donald Trump And The House GOP

This is the House that Newt Gingrich built as speaker, in front of us, still alive and well. The house that Donald Trump is building for us all will feel a lot like Newt’s, but more palatial, with more gold “TRUMP” signs all over.

Trump’s leading presidential candidacy is no fluke, but the direct result of Gingrich’s fiery ascent to House speaker in the 1994 Republican revolution. Fueling each: angry white men who feel disenchanted by the political order. They make a potent force, and the rest of us should beware and prepare.

The House that Newt built in 1995 was full of angry white Republican men, the majority that ran on the so-called “Contract with America.” I saw the whites of their eyes in the Speaker’s Lobby off the floor. As a rookie reporter, I liked to ask them to tell me their favorite points of the contract – if they even remembered them. Often, they didn’t.

Policy was not their strong point, as they stormed the house of American democracy. Many in the new majority were from the South and Midwest. Gingrich personally recruited them to be candidates.

One other thing stood out: They did not accept the constitutional authority of the president. Especially not Bill Clinton. They came loaded for Clinton – the fire of their fury daily stoked by Rush Limbaugh, who was honored as the class of 1994 mascot at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Yeah, they lavished love on one of the best haters of our time. It was remarkable to witness.

John Boehner, the shallow House speaker who’s stepping down soon, was a lieutenant in Newt’s army, which came to power 20 years ago. He was more than just a placeholder for Gingrich’s Republican revolution; he supported its churlish know-nothingness toward immigrants and women’s rights, and its insurrections against the president – this time, Barack Obama. The press tends to paint him as a sympathetic son of an Ohio “barkeep,” but he’s just one of the boys.

The wind blowing the aggressive Trump into his confounding first place in the Republican primary trails? It’s all in that tornado in November 1994. Overnight, the House and the Senate changed hands to Republican control. The sea change was stronger in the House. It was remarkable to witness and worth remembering.

Brazen and mean-spirited, the House class of 1994 came to Washington ready to burn down the House. An anti-government force, many slept in their congressional offices. It’s a charming Republican custom and another way to disrespect Washington. As Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who almost became speaker, would tell you: Don’t ever act like you belong here, to this House.

McCarthy got consumed by the beast Newt started: The House Republicans seem to hate governing so much that they can’t govern themselves. Meanwhile, Trump still sails on the winds of rage.

 

By: Jamie Stiehm, U. S. News and World Report, October 13, 2015

October 15, 2015 Posted by | House Freedom Caucus, Newt Gingrich, Speaker of The House of Representatives | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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