Newt Gingrich Makes an Elaborate Historical Argument

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Ed Kilgore points to an intriguing Joshua Green story in BusinessWeek today: at a point during the Republican primary when Mitt Romney was struggling, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum had serious talks about creating a unity ticket:

The negotiations quickly intensified. “We had a series of closed-door meetings about it,” Conway says. Conway, Walker, and Randy Evans represented Team Gingrich; Brabender spoke for Santorum. “Initially, it was through staff,” Conway says. “Then Rick and Newt did talk by phone for quite awhile.”

Finally, the two candidates spoke face-to-face at an energy forum just before the [Michigan] primary. Gingrich made an elaborate historical argument that….

Hey! Why did I cut off the story? Newt Gingrich made an elaborate historical argument for what? That they should run on a platform of abolishing the Fed? Building alligator-filled moats along the Mexican border? Blasting North Korea to bits with a space-based laser? Paying off the national debt with natural gas royalties?

Not quite. It turns out that Gingrich made an elaborate historical argument for….why Newt Gingrich should head the ticket, with Santorum settling for veep. I’ll bet you wish you could have been a fly on the wall for that little lecture, don’t you?

This is all sort of fascinating, in a train-wreck kind of way, and I’m glad Green wrote about it. But can I just say that, no, Gingrich and Santorum never really came close to making a deal. The question of who gets to be president and who gets to be VP is the only real question in negotiations like this. If they were arguing about that, they hadn’t even gotten started.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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