You’ve got to give it to Gingrich – the man’s ability to leap from astute political timing to disastrous miscalculation is nothing short of astonishing. Gingrich was once the Republican front runner until his fantasies about moon colonies and the enormity of his intellect soured the public’s attitude towards him, bringing his Presidential ambitions to a rather pathetic close.
In true Gingrich fashion, he has decided to propel himself back into the limelight, this time by backing Missouri senate candidate Todd Akin who famously coined the term ‘legitimate rape’. From the Guardian:
At the first major fundraising event held by the Akin campaign since the Missouri senate candidate was blackballed by the party funders and leaders, Gingrich pledged his support and said he was just the first in a wave of well-known Republicans to stand by Akin.
Republican party leaders have said the controversial remarks have made it impossible for Akin to unseat incumbent US senator Claire McCaskill. They have pleaded with him to step down in time to name a replacement for the election.
Gingrich came to Missouri on Monday to back Akin at a $500-a-ticket fundraising lunch, at which he addressed about 50 of the congressman’s supporters – and earlier, the media.
At at a press conference at a train station in Kirkwood, a suburb of St Louis, Missouri, Gingrich said Akin was running a winnable race and made his own prediction – that the national Republican leaders, including Mitt Romney, would reverse track and back the candidate once they “adjust to the reality” that he is staying in the race.
This isn’t of course, anything to do with backing Akin. It is a way of Gingrich getting himself back into the public eye using the tried and tested philosophy that any publicity is good publicity.
Gingrich is utterly shameless in his approach to politics – he’ll use any angle possible to keep himself relevant, this time backing a candidate whose views on female reproductive rights were so medieval he even got disowned by Rush Limbaugh.
What’s next on the Gingrich comeback trail? A duet with Chris Brown? A Lance Armstrong solidarity march?
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.