The Locker Room

TIME handicaps a Gingrich presidential run

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:47 AM

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrichís potential 2012 presidential bid attracts attention this week from TIME:

Gingrich has reportedly told supporters he's leaning toward an early-April announcement of his candidacy.

It won't be an easy one. He has always operated on a Wagnerian scale, and there's little doubt he feels qualified to lead the U.S. through what he awkwardly calls "a crossroads that we cannot hide from." Yet he is also one of the most divisive figures in politics. Though he may have high name recognition, he is disliked by roughly half of those who are familiar with him ó a stigma matched within the GOP only by Sarah Palin. He has a flair for hyperbole that seems antithetical to executing a well-disciplined national campaign. And he has a personal life for which he says he has sought God's forgiveness. "He's one of the most creative thinkers out there," says Tom Quiner. Quiner's wife agrees but then pauses. "I don't know," she says. "He's got some baggage."

Presidential material or not, Gingrich can give a good speech, as evidenced by his address at the John Locke Foundationís 20th-anniversary dinner in 2010.

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