Carol Platt Liebau
The field of potential Republican presidential candidates has thinned quickly over the past few days.  

First, Mike Huckabee announced her wouldn't run.  Then Donald Trump did the same.

And now Newt Gingrich has effectively destroyed his own nascent campaign by his feckless attack on Paul Ryan's reform plans (read the report by Guy below).

Given the blowback, of course Gingrich is trying to walk back his remarks.  But the entire episode only highlights his temperamental unsuitability to serve as president.  After all, there can be only two explanations for his comments -- and neither does him credit: 

Either he didn't mean to say what everyone apparently heard him say -- which feeds into the perception of him as an immature, loose cannon afflicted with verbal dysentery (i.e., the kind of man who would pout over his seating placement on Air Force One, or conduct an affair even as he led the charge against President Clinton for lying under oath about his own extramarital affair).  

The other possible explanation?  He's so desperately opportunistic that he's willing to try to burnish his own bipartisan credentials yet again (remember the "climate change" ad with Nancy Pelosi?)  by trashing a smart, out-of-the-box young conservative reformer (who has all Gingrich's intellectual firepower without the troubling personal characteristics that accompany it in Gingrich).

It's a shame.  I used to like Newt, especially back in the '90's when he engineered the takeover of Congress.

But now, as far as I'm concerned, Newt's done.  Can you even fathom what a disaster he'd be as the GOP standard bearer in 2012?  He makes Donald Trump look like a model of consistency and maturity.

Carol Platt Liebau

Carol Platt Liebau is an attorney, political commentator and guest radio talk show host based near New York. Learn more about her new book, "Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Hurts Young Women (and America, Too!)" here.