Another paranoid conspiracy theory (so I hope)

In a must-view interview by Richard Miniter I mentioned in the last post, Tom DeLay weighs in on the various GOP candidates, and while I was initially drawn to an observation about Huckabee ("it's obvious to me that Huckabee understands truth"), DeLay was quite critical of all the candidates. He expressed doubt that Romney truly believes in what he's saying, questioned Fred Thompson's leadership abilities ("wasn't exactly a leader in the Senate"), dismissed Giuliani as hopelessly moderate, and characterized McCain as someone who "doesn't have a philosophy," and "should run as an independent."

As to the future of the race, DeLay says he "can't say," and it's "so wide open anything can happen." In language which sounded to me as if he has someone in mind, DeLay opined that "it's not about change, it's about leadership," and that the ideal candidate would be someone starts talking about where the country should be in 20-30 years.

My immediate reaction was that this might have been a thinly disguised reference to Newt Gingrich, except there's been some very bad blood between the two, and I haven't read about them burying the hatchet.

But consider this. Newt Gingrich has gone green on Global Warming (incurring the wrath of John Stossel), and he has gone out of his way to come up with a health care plan. Moreover, his web sites, books, and emails constantly portray him as the go-to guy for the future -- of America, of conservatism, and (of course) the GOP.

On top of that, there's this little-noticed Townhall piece by Duane Patterson, titled What Is Newt's Angle In The Primaries?:

Very quietly, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is meddling in the GOP primary field. A couple of weeks ago, there was a press release that indicated Rick Tyler, long time communications director for Gingrich, was taking a leave of absence from his day job, and helping out the communications effort for Mike Huckabee.

Mark Levin over on The Corner writes today that Newt and Dick Morris are both helping the Arkansas populist former governor, Newt behind the scenes, Morris publicly. The question is why is Newt doing this?

Excellent question.

Might Huckabee be a stalking horse for Gingrich without knowing it? According to last week's theory, "Newt still envisions himself running for the presidency, but didn't think this cycle was the right time to run because of the aura of invincibility of Hillary Clinton." Therefore (so the theory went):

....Newt would then benefit by helping out the perceived weakest of the GOP candidates, ensuring that come January '09, the Republicans would begin their four year wandering through the desert. This would set up Newt as the White Knight in 2012, riding to the rescue after President Hillary screwed things up in her first term.
And here's the new theory:
But after Iowa last night, another theory is beginning to develop. Hillary's aura of invincibility is no longer there. Barack Obama is now the frontrunner, and although very charismatic, he's an empty suit, especially when it comes to foreign policy. Newt may now be thinking that there's a window of opportunity this cycle. All that needs to take place is for Huckabee to take a couple of the early states, Rudy take a couple of the big states, McCain maybe taking a state here or there, and Romney to take a couple, and you have yourself a brokered convention. If the Republicans can't decide on a clear frontrunner by the convention, could we potentially see the White Knight riding in a little earlier than expected into Minneapolis/St. Paul this September?
Might backing Huckabee now be Newt's way of surreptitiously entering the race? If Huckabee is facing the inevitable campaign crackup that many pundits are saying he is, Newt would be well positioned to step in.

Please, dear God, let this be another idle conspiracy theory that fizzles.

UPDATE: Considering that the source of some of the Gingrich speculation was Mark Levin's post about Gingrich helping Huckabee, I don't know whether to consider his latest pronouncement reassuring or not.


Huckabee will not be the Republican nominee.

(Via Glenn Reynolds.)

Good news, right?

(I hope I just doused the conspiracy flames with water and not gasoline....)

posted by Eric on 01.05.08 at 11:36 AM


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