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Social media wrap: Watching Newt Gingrich – No Mickey-ing about here

July 14, 2010 |  7:08 am

Newt Gingrich, who as House speaker in the mid-1990s famously ensured that government did nothing for several short periods during a budgetary dispute with Bill Clinton, has been extremely busy himself of late.  He has, to be sure, been talking about a presidential run for more than a year now.

But now he's wearing a Mickey Mouse watch that set off a new batch of 2012 stargazers wondering what exactly did it all mean (which Gingrich answered with a Facebook post).

But is time standing still like the watch that broke when Gingrich was touring Disney World with his grandkids?  (Gingrich on Monday contended  the GOP has a better chance of retaking the House this year than the Republicans did in their historic 1994 upset, which Gingrich helped engineer through the GOP's Contract with America.

His is a position also echoed, strangely enough, recently by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.)

Most notably, Karl Rove is the latest GOP bigwig to suggest Gingrich has resurrected his presidential campaign ambitions for 2012 and is pretty far along in plotting his run. Rove posted his suggestion for a Gingrich 2012 “game plan” to his Facebook page here. 

Gingrich on Monday dropped by Iowa to chat with its Republican candidates in the November mid-terms and pillory President Obama on the GOP’s traditional hot-button triumvirate of spending, the debt and the deficit, and answered the tea-leaf readers by saying, as expected, that he’d make his final decision on a presidential run next winter (when most of the GOP’s potential wannabes  – including  Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty, Massachusetts' Mitt Romney, Arkansas’ Mike Huckabee and Alaska’s Sarah Palin – likely will make their final decisions also).

Gingrich is also attracting some serious support from within his party by harnessing ideas from the ...  

....ranks and promoting them on his seemingly endless array of media outlets. He’s also been extremely active endorsing mid-term candidates (although not always successfully). From this, we can glean a plank or two of the platform that Gingrich may or may not choose to run on.

Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz tweeted: Thrilled to have former Speaker Newt Gingrich tout the Economic Freedom Act Rep. Jim Jordan & I introduced earlier this year. In his op-ed in the Chicago Tribune he refers us and the plan by name. Hope you have a chance to read it

Key tenets of Chaffetz’s joint plan spotlighted by Gingrich include business tax relief, a temporary 50 percent reduction in payroll taxes and a 100 percent depreciation for new equipment purchases. The plan also recommends eliminating the capital gains tax and reducing corporate tax to 12.5 percent.  

Meanwhile, GOP gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal is "delighted" that Gingrich stopped by Georgia to endorse his campaign, becoming one of many candidates in the Southern states to whom Gingrich recently has tipped his hat, including South Carolina’s Nikkey Haley and that state’s GOP congressional candidates, Trey Gowdy and Mick Mulvaney.     
Deal posted a pic alongside his Facebook post: Deal Supporters Together: Former Speaker Newt Gingrich poses with DeKalb County Deal Chairman Michael Roberts. Both are sporting Deal. Real. lapel pins. Looking good!

Deal, originally a  Democrat who switched parties in 1995,  resigned earlier this year from Congress to run for governor.  His campaign slogan "Deal. Real." perhaps attracted Gingrich’s attention because it twines so nicely with Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership campaign (REAL), which also is promoting Virginia congressman J. Randy Forbes’s “In God We Trust” resolution. Forbes posted that Gingrich nod here.

Gingrich, an avid social-media networker who has more than 60,000 Facebook followers, also has been busy promoting his new book and tweeting about his love of spending time with his family -- both key steps for any likely presidential candidate.

Of course, he’s still showing signs of the combative Gingrich long remembered for actuating the GOP’s uber-campaigning maneuver, “Contract with America.”  Answering critics of his book, “To Save America,” Gingrich posted recently: The elite media sneered at the subtitle of Newt's book To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine. They asked, "How could you call Obama a socialist?" It turns out that 55% of Americans agree that "socialist" describes President Obama very well or well, proving again the disconnect between the elites ...and the American people. 

Gingrich, unlike Mickey Mouse, clearly still has his teeth.

-- Craig Howie

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Photo credits: Top: The Associated Press / Getty. Inset: Nathan Deal campaign.