Political Animal


March 27, 2012 12:29 PM Newt’s Latest “Big Idea:” A Flash-Mob Convention!

By Ed Kilgore

This is just too rich. In The Hill we learn that on Fox News today, Newt Gingrich suggested a rather unusual departure from precedent for the Republican National Convention:

“We’ll basically have a national, electronic convention.
“I can imagine a circumstance, for example, where they suspended the keynote address on the first night and actually had a presidential debate in front of the delegates of the candidates.”

Sure, Newt. Republicans will leap at the idea of throwing out all the primaries and all the rules and letting you and God knows who else debate the putative nominee before votes are taken. It would be different, no question about that. Nominees didn’t even appear at the convention until FDR broke the taboo in 1932. Why not force him to go through yet another debate and turn the convention itself into a flash mob?

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Diane Rodriguez on March 27, 2012 12:42 PM:

    Newt is pretty transparent with the electronic convention idea. It's much easier to bilk people out of their money when you have an immediate electronic pathway to accept credit cards. He will get e-v-e-r-y last nickel out of this endeavor. He's curremtly charging $50 for a pix with him which you will download from a website later.

  • Gandalf on March 27, 2012 12:52 PM:

    Yea that's the ticket. Try and get all the delegates to make an impulsive quick decision based on a few minutes of pontificating and ole Newt might just be able to horn swoggle em into making him the nominee.

  • Kathryn on March 27, 2012 1:00 PM:

    I' with Frank Bruni and his column today in the NYT, A Farewell to Newt. Sadly, it won't happen, Newt's every vile, self serving comment will be spewed at us by MSM ad infinitim (sp?). He and Sen. John McCain, one or both, will show up nearly every week to bloviate and warmonger on MTP, Fox News Sunday, CNN, Face the Nation, etc. and be treated as sane and credible which they are not.

  • Josef K on March 27, 2012 1:26 PM:

    Why not force him to go through yet another debate and turn the convention itself into a flash mob?

    I agree that as a practical matter this is an idiotic notion.

    On the other hand, watching an all-out riot might be fun.

  • Danp on March 27, 2012 1:54 PM:

    Newt just wants to be sure that the delegates have all had a chance to see the candidates debate. It's not like they already had 25-30 of them.

  • g on March 27, 2012 1:55 PM:

    What, not a "Lincoln-Douglas Debate" where each candidate gets to hold forth for 90 minutes?

    Newt's got debate on the brain - I guess it's the only area where he feels he can compete.

  • GlenInBrooklyn on March 27, 2012 4:22 PM:

    Newt wants a Lincoln-Douglas debate in which he plays both Lincoln and Douglas. That way he can be sure that it will be truly intelligent and very serious. I could enjoy the discussion about moonbases.