07/10/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Palin & Gingrich: Enough Limelight for Two?

Newt and Sarah,
Sarah and Newt,
One so brainy,
The other so cute.

They make a lovely couple, don't you think? And wouldn't you just love to be right there in a room with the two of them when they start discussing...anything?

What a feast for the senses that would be! The Old Professor, with his rumpled ways and his cerebral bent, his million-dollar-vocabulary and his slash-and-burn tactics. And the Hockey Mom, with her soap-opera family and her down-home-Up-North "You betcha"s and her heart on her sleeve. (A designer sleeve, of course.)

From all outward appearances, so little in common that you --

Well, there is one thing. But it's such a minor thing, it's hardly worth mentioning:

They've both got their eye on a certain house in Washington. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Maybe you've seen pictures.

They'd both like the keys to the place starting in January of 2013, which seems like an awfully long way off. But when you're thinking of moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the planning starts early. The dreaming starts even earlier.

Newt and Sarah have been dreaming. They've been dreaming a lot.

The thing about this particular dream, though? Only one person at a time can have this dream come true. If Newt's dream comes true, Sarah's dream doesn't. If Sarah's dream comes true, Newt's dream doesn't.

They're in each other's way.

(And we haven't even mentioned Mitt's dream, and Huck's dream, and Jeb's dream, and Tim's dream. And then there's Barack's dream. He's got the house right now, the one at 1600 Pennsylvania, and he might like to hang onto it for a while.)

Which is why there's so much to-do about who gets invited to the party's big fundraising events and who doesn't, and who gets to be the headliner and who doesn't, and who gets to sit at the important table and who doesn't, and who's thinking of skipping the event altogether (or maybe not, or maybe so, or maybe not), and who gets to walk across the stage and who gets introduced from the audience but won't actually get to speak and who tries to grab the spotlight anyway with an exclusive interview on Fox and who --

So much intrigue! So much entertainment! The spectacle is so compelling, it can be hard to remember that the particular party these folks are so eager to lead has been leaking members like an oil tanker sliced open by a glacier. The dwindling percentage of the American people still willing to declare themselves Republicans means that Newt's dream and Sarah's dream may be nothing more than a pipe dream, and that the house at 1600 Pennsylvania may stay out of reach no matter which of them -- or which of the others -- eventually grabs the nomination.

But that's not how dreamers think. Especially dreamers like Newt and Sarah, who've already done such improbable things in their lives. Once upon a time, Newt captured a Congress. And Sarah stood just a heartbeat away from a man who was just a hundred electoral votes away from --

Dreamers think there's always a chance. That the world is unpredictable, and that approval ratings in the summer of 2009 have nothing to say about the shape of things in the fall of 2012. Dreamers know that a nomination that appears pretty much worthless right now can be absolutely priceless three years from now.

Which is why there's already so much to-do about everything.

Better stock up on the popcorn. This'll be good.