Gingrich and the Fear Factor

Gingrich's alleged "baggage" and doubts about his electability don't fully explain why, despite his high standing in the polls, the GOP establishment has been shunning the former Speaker of the House, when not showing outright hostility toward him. The current Speaker of the House, John Boehner, must be considered a prominent opponent, behind the scenes so far.  Boehner, it will be recalled, led the rebellion to remove Gingrich from his post as Speaker back in 1998, joined in this eventually successful effort by Bill Paxon, Dick Armey, and Tom DeLay (all now out of office).  The day after being re-elected to an 11th term by his Georgia constituents, Gingrich announced that he would stand down as Speaker and resign his seat.  As reported in the November 8, 1998 New York Times, he minced no words during a phone conference with colleagues Joe Barton of Texas, Rob Portman of Ohio, Fred Upton of Michigan and RNC Chairman Jim Nicholson, stating "I'm willing to lead but I'm...(Read Full Article)