A few days ago, our Townhall Media cousin Allahpundit wrote a piece making the case for why Newt Gingrich could be an appealing choice to replace Gen. John Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He argues that Newt has nothing to lose at this stage of his life and career, he knows Trump and and all the key players in Washington quite well, he deeply understands the legislative process, he relishes scorched earth politics, and he's an experienced veteran of an impeachment battle. There are downsides, too, naturally -- but the affirmative argument for Newt at least lands somewhere between intriguing and compelling. But was it even on anyone's radar at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Apparently so, according to a White House correspondent:
At the very least his name is getting pushed by some in Trumpworld as someone who has experience w/ impeachment, never mind the fact that being a driving force behind the Clinton impeachment fiasco makes him about as appropriate for what Trump may face as blue jeans on a dolphin.— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) December 13, 2018
"I don't think you can ever impose order on Donald Trump. He is a unique entrepreneurial personality."
A few thoughts from that interview: First, it wasn't a categorical denial. Has Newt actually said, flat-out, that he wouldn't take the gig if Trump asked? I'm not sure I heard such a definitive statement in that answer about being a private citizen merely enjoying the First Lady's Christmas decorations, as opposed to advising the president on an important personnel selection. Second, if Gingrich somehow ended up in that role, it very much sounds like he'd take a "let Trump be Trump" approach, as opposed to attempting to instill discipline. And with those two personalities dominating the show at the White House...hoo boy. Ready the popcorn. As for other rumored candidates for the job, one of them literally co-authored a book entitled, Let Trump Be Trump. Allahpundit, understandably eager to keep hope alive for the idea he fleshed out, wonders whether or not Newt's denials are legit:
An honest denial, or is Newt merely being coy knowing there’s nothing Trump hates more than being upstaged? If POTUS is going to throw America a curveball by installing Gingrich in the White House, he probably wants it to come as a real surprise — which means Newt keeps his mouth shut tight until Trump himself gets to perform the grand reveal.
If Newt is a remotely serious candidate, he's a very dark horse, and he surely knows that the fastest way to get knocked off the list is to start blabbing to reporters to boost his own chances. As it stands, either it ain't happening (perhaps because Gingrich really isn't interested in stepping away from his various lucrative endeavors in the private sector), or it'll be a closely-held secret until the announcement. And yes, from time to time, this administration can keep big secrets.
Parting thought, via a gossip columnist of dodgy repute: Is Reince Priebus in the mix for his old job? Before you scoff, the Washington Post just reported that the president has been calling the Wisconsinite fairly frequently in recent months. Would he even want it? And because everything is weird these days, I'll leave you with this:
Hey little buddy @realDonaldTrump u need a bash brother for Chief if Staff. Got a secret reorg plan already. Also worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday. I will buff you up daily workouts. DM me. #yeswecanseco— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) December 13, 2018