Who Killed Newt, Part Two

Chatterbox has finally figured out who killed Newt. Are you ready? Newt did.

This revelation seized Chatterbox as he was reading about the wild adulation Newt received at a dinner last night hosted by GOPAC, the Republican fund-raising outfit that he created. According to the usually-reliable Associated Press, his speech was punctuated “by several standing ovations,” and by boisterous chants of “Newt, Newt, Newt.” Rep. Matt Salmon (R., Ariz.), a certified Newt-hater, called it “a great speech.” There is no way Gingrich could have gotten that kind of reception had he not relinquished the speakership. After all, this was the guy who just lost five Republican votes in the House.

Could it be that Newt just wants to be loved? Republicans, he surely grasps, are terribly sentimental about their former leaders–witness how they renamed Washington’s National Airport after Ronald Reagan–as compared to Democrats, who scorn them. (Jimmy Who? And who was that Greek fellow we ran for president in 1988?) Perhaps he simply decided it was better to be a Cuddly Elder Statesman than a Hated Party Leader.

–Timothy Noah