Now that Newt Gingrich is officially running for President, I decided to do some research and to find out who the former Speaker of the House really is. There is the good, the bad, and the very ugly.
Gingrich was elected to the House of Representatives eleven times (resigning after the 1998 election), his only two losses came against a popular incumbent Democrat in the 1974 and 1976 elections. When he was elected Speaker of the House in 1995: it was the first time in four decades that a Republican had been able to reach the coveted legislative post.
Gingrich's "Contract with America" was pivotal in the Republicans historic sweep of Congress in the 1994 midterm election (the GOP gained 54 seats - highest number since 1946). After the new majority was sworn in, Gingrich worked hard to pass welfare reform, to balance the national budget, and to reform the House. All of which he accomplished in just four years as House Speaker.
Gingrich has written over 20 books. He founded the American Solutions for Winning the Future organization, and he's well known for finding solutions to difficult problems. He is a genius, and a intellectual of the highest order. Most expect this particular strength would give him a strong advantage over Obama in the 2012 campaign and the fall debates.
Gingrich's greatest weakness in 2012 would be his disastrous personal life. He has been married three times - twice to mistresses, and cheated on his cancer stricken first wife in the 1980's. His affair with his third wife continued during the House of Representatives votes to impeach Bill Clinton for lying about his own affair.
So how is the Gingrich 2012 campaign polling with the people? Not swell. The Washington Post has Gingrich 12 points behind Mike Huckabee, while Public Policy Polling also has him down by double digits to Mike Huckabee. Gingrich is devastatingly behind Barack Obama in every poll, and will not change without an Obama scandal.