The New York Times is the latest to hear Joe Scarborough’s (R-MSNBC) name whispered on the 2016 winds (spoiler alert: it’s being whispered by the man himself), and they sound as confused as anybody as to how seriously to take what looks by all accounts to be a low-budget book promotion strategy. To that end, pol-turned-pundit Newt Gingrich (R-CNN) explains:
How that happened says as much about the state of the Republican Party — a party with “no front-runners, only runners,” in the words of Newt Gingrich, another Republican former-politician-turned-television-host — as it does about Mr. Scarborough, who had ample reason to let the speculation fester.
As to whether he was serious, nobody seemed to know. Or much care.
“He’s certainly serious about letting you talk about him,” said Mr. Gingrich, perhaps speaking from experience. “It makes him bigger, not smaller; it gives him a chance to say what he believes. It doesn’t cost him anything, and as long as he’s careful about his MSNBC contract, he can have fun.”
In short, it’s a lark, one that lets Scarborough play Pretend Serious Candidate, predicated on the underlying certainty that he’s not Actually Serious, entirely to the benefit of Scarborough (as opposed to, I dunno, voters), all within the confines of company policy. If that’s not a perfect distillation of the nether-pose between pundit and politician, it’ll do until perfect gets here.
[h/t New York Times]
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