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Why Newt Gingrich Won't Run in 2012

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Here we go again...

As Politics Daily's Patricia Murphy reported the other day:

Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker and perennial big thinker in the Republican party, said this morning that he will likely run for president in 2012 if he and his wife, Callista, assess the field of candidates in 2011 and feel "a requirement as citizens that we run."

Please. This is what Gingrich always does to keep his name out there, and to maintain his quasi-celebrity status on the national political scene, more with the national media than with the party leadership or base.

He's an attention whore, you see. Whenever he's not getting enough attention, he floats the "I may run for president" bullshit, knowing that the media will lap it up and put him back in the news.

And he doesn't mean it. Honestly, what the hell does "a requirement as citizens" mean? He won't run, and never will, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that he knows he'd lose, badly. He likely wouldn't even make it out of the Republican primaries, where his pompous, self-absorbed windbaggery would put him at a disadvantage against his sucking-up-to-the extremist-base rivals. (Sure, he'd suck up, too, and he's surely an extremist of sorts, but it's hard to see Republican primary voters trusting him.)

He also knows full well that all the old dirt would come out, and a lot more we don't know about yet -- the truth about the character and conviction of Newt Gingrich -- and it's that, one suspects, that motivates any reluctance he might have to re-enter electoral politics, perhaps even more than the fear of losing. Here's what I wrote back in June in a post on his silly attack on "paganism":

I'm not sure Newt was being so Christian when he was getting blown by his various mistresses (but not, he claimed, committing adultery, because oral sex apparently doesn't count) -- or when he demanded a divorce from his first wife Jackie in her hospital room, where she was recovering from uterine cancer surgery -- or when he refused to pay alimony and child support after their divorce -- etc., etc., etc.

The fact is, Gingrich enjoys a certain status on the national scene. Simply put, he is respected. Some of us find that respect seriously misplaced -- and I wish we'd dispense with the "big thinker" label for a self-aggrandizing partisan who is "big" only relative to the smallness that rules the GOP -- but the media love him, and not just the right-wing kind. And he's not about to give that up by risking the truth coming out, which it would, nor by fighting it out in the GOP gutter only to lose, which he would.

So please. Enough. Do the media really not know when they're being used and abused and lied to? (Because, in this case, that's exactly what's going on.) No, alas, no, which means we're likely to get much more of all this nonsense whenever Gingrich wants some attention.

(Cross-posted from The Reaction.)