What would a Newt Gingrich presidency look like? Whether or not he has managed to remain an "ideas guy" in his post-Congressional career has always been a subject of intense debate. Sometimes, Gingrich's "ideas" are warmed-over policy proposals from his Speakership heyday. Sometimes, his "ideas" are things that other people have already proposed. On rare occasions, his "ideas" involve laser beams. Regardless, Gingrich's reputation as some sort of walking reliquary of policy innovations precedes him.
This week, the 2012 presidential landscape was rocked by a couple of big announcements. Haley Barbour, who had us more or less convinced he was going to take a run at the White House, surprised everyone by announcing that he had decided against mounting a campaign. Now, the insider knowledge and deep connections that Barbour has spent his career cultivating are hot commodities -- as is his endorsement. Will Barbour lay his kiss of approval on the brow of Mitch Daniels? Or will he back his fellow southerner, Mike Huckabee? Or Tim Pawlenty? At this point, nobody knows.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Sound the alarms! The first electoral college map for 2012 has been released for us to masticate, digest and, much later, expel from one end of our alimentary canal or another, depending on taste. Let's begin by noting that the map's creator basically urges everyone to not start getting crazy about it. But I promise you, his urgings will be in vain. So get ready to see American politics devolve entirely into a hilarious crap-show.