Social media, new technology or even figuring out how to use my iPhone have made me feel a little over the hill lately. However, just as I was about ready to tweeter over the edge and give in to the urge to be old, Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House -- from 1995 to 1999 -- comes up with another great idea and pulls me back into the game.
Newt has announced he's running for office, again, this time for the presidency. Hope springs eternal, regardless of the past or any current polls.
Just to give everyone a little refresher on the history of Newt and public office, remember that in 1994, when he had a new book out, he said that welfare mothers who couldn't pay their bills should have their children put in U.S. orphanages. U.S. orphanages, which have a track record of sending 80 percent of their graduates on to college, higher than the U.S. average, and who work hard to also reunite families, were not happy about the slam.
There was also the time he famously led the campaign to have then-President Clinton impeached mostly for his dalliances with Monica Lewinsky only to let his first wife, Jackie, know that he was leaving her for someone else while she was still in the hospital recovering from breast cancer surgery.
Then, a few years later, he left wife number two and moved on to the next one.
Now, he's been building a campaign war chest for the past three years and with wife number three, Callista, is courting Republican conservative Christians by reminding everyone of his recent conversion to Catholicism. Some have suggested he's trying to get the rest of us to redefine adultery or at least let bygones be bygones. However, in order for that to work the behavior has to stay gone.
The Republican slate of candidates has been slow to emerge with any kind of clear frontrunner, leaving the door open for more news coverage of Newt. That's at least as long as Charlie Sheen stays off the road or another major terrorist isn't found under Obama's watch. The news media seemed to give both equal air time.
However, stranger things have happened in American politics and there's a possibility Newt's campaign could gain traction, particularly if he stumbles over the right catchy slogan. This is where he really shines and may be why he seems to shoot himself in the foot from time to time with outrageous comments like calling Judge Sonia Sotomayor a racist only to have to take it back a few days later after, well, the facts came out. He was just doing his own test marketing.
Or there was the recent comment when he accused Obama of "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior." I'm not sure what that even means, but it doesn't sound good until I remember colonial behavior got Britain into long, drawn-out wars costing billions of dollars, thousands of soldiers' lives and threw the entire continent of Africa into more civil wars.
Kenya wasn't one of those, though, so I'll have to consult the Newt-to-English dictionary to figure out that part.
Eventually, Newt will beat the economy versus the deficit drum but again, remember that in 1995 and 1996 Newt used the federal government like a ruler in the hands of an aging Victorian schoolmarm and he tried to shut things down and let the middle class taxpayer suffer.
His strategy was that the same group also known as average voters would turn on Clinton, but the opposite happened the first time, which led to the second go round the following year. Never let it be said he didn't make sure one of his bad ideas was actually really bad.
That last-ditch effort that was more about a personal grudge match with Clinton was the death knell for the Republican Revolution, at least for awhile.
Responsible Republicans, who had a few great ideas, were muffled behind all of that blather and their ideas were lost in the sound mix. That's what can be lost this time, too. Pay enough attention to Newt 2.0 and miss out on what the guy behind him, who has a few real ideas about the deficit, the budget and the economy, like Cantor, or even the current Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has to say on the topic. Tweet me @MarthaRandolph on who you'd like to see running the government.
Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc., newspaper syndicate. E-mail Martha at Martha@caglecartoons.com.