This is one of those times where Newt makes a hell of a lot of sense. Because what we have now is less a real campaign where we can actually get to know the candidates and their ideas, and more a time where the best soundbites win. And how sad is that?
Gingrich on the money game…
What’s the job of the candidate in this world?” asked Gingrich. “The job of the candidate is to raise the money to hire the consultants to do the focus groups to figure out the 30-second answers to be memorized by the candidate. This is stunningly dangerous.”
Gingrich said the need to raise tens of millions of dollars has driven campaigns to begin cranking up much earlier than ever. Meanwhile, he said, advisers are telling candidates to begin campaigning “as soon as possible — I need a check.”
“Go look at all the analysis,” said Gingrich. “Why are people starting early? Because you can’t build the organization. What are you building the organization for? So you can raise the money.”
On the debates…
“These aren’t debates,” the former Georgia congressman said. “This is a cross between [TV shows] ‘The Bachelor,’ ‘American Idol’ and ‘Who’s Smarter than a Fifth-Grader.'”
And the solutions?
Gingrich’s answer to the problems would be to get rid of limits on campaign financing, which he said have made the problems worse by requiring more individual donations to meet the same goals, and to stage a series of “dialogues” among the major-party candidates — once a week, for 90 minutes, for nine weeks before the elections.
Candidates would pick the topics, and their answers would be uninterrupted “except for fairness on time,” he said.
“After nine 90-minute conversations in their living rooms, the American people would have a remarkable sense of the two personalities and which person had the right ideas, the right character, the right capacity to be a leader,” he said.
Here’s the deal…Gingrich thinks that the Repubs are going to lose next year. Given that, he’s positioning himself to lead the next great Republican revolution after that. I can almost guarantee it. Heck, he may even be thinking of starting another party, although that’s a long shot. The only way to do that is to get out in front of the meme and define the conversation. He’s the master of that, and you’re seeing it here.
So then, what would you do to fix the “Road to the White House?”