I haven't had a chance to read all of this very long Matt Bai piece on Newt Gingrich yet, but this snippet (also noted by Ramesh Ponnuru) caught my eye:
"Most Republicans are not entrepreneurial," he lamented to me. "They’re corporatists. They like the security and the comfort of a well-thought-out, highly boring boardroom meeting in which they do a PowerPoint once. And it worries them to have ideas, because ideas have edges, and they’re not totally formed, and you’ve got to prove them, and they sound strange because they’re new, and if it’s new how do you know it’s any good, because, after all, it’s new and you’ve never heard it before."It's a great point, and the quote, as well as the article itself as far as I can tell, touches directly on Newt's greatest strength: he's one of the only people in American political life (and I include both politicians and the media commentariat here) who really cares about ideas. Unfortunately, it also reminds us of Newt's greatest weakness, which is that he has no internal filter whatsoever for really bad ideas.
That weakness will prevent him from ever becoming president, but the strength will insure that he's always going to be worth listening to. Even if you discard half of everything he says, the other half is liable to be more thought-provoking than anything else you're likely to hear in political discourse.