Normally there are 3 different types of candidates
1) In it to win it. Sometimes they’re delusional about their chances of winning, but these are the candidates who truly believe that they are best qualified to be the POTUS. These are the Romneys, the Cains etc. They go around making detailed political speeches about what they plan to do.
2) Stepping stoners. Candidates that doesn’t really want the job – or at least are willing to accept that they’ll never get it, but see running as a chance towards something else. Maybe they’ll be a #1 type candidate next election. Maybe a VP nod. Something. These candidate’s main goal is to excite their own constituencies while not upsetting anyone. If Bachmann gets in she would be an example of this type of candidate.
3) Issue candidates. Sometimes this isn’t a perfect division as nothing prevents these candidates from being in the other groups or wishing they would be, but basically they’re in to add a point of view to the debates that wouldn’t be there otherwise. Ron Paul is the obvious example, but I think ’08 Huckabee is actually a better one. I think he was as surprised as anyone by his elevation to the first group, because really he didn’t want the job, he wanted the Fair Tax to be a part of the debate. He doesn’t actually want the job or think he’s the best person for it, as seen by his not entering the race this go around.
Sadly lately we’ve seen a 4th type – one that is doing it for the sake of getting themselves noticed. While talking about possibly running for attention isn’t really new, Colbert really took it to a new level 4 years ago when he tried to register to be on the ballot, all while openly admitting he didn’t want to really be in the running for President, it was all a publicity stunt. Trump continued this year in the more standard way – and less you still think he was actually considering running consider he dropped out not when added requirements or work was being geared up, but when The Apprentice season was wrapped up and he finished contract talks for next season.
Newt really fits none of the normal 3 categories. If he was truly in the first group he would’ve felt he was the best person for the job 4 years ago and would’ve run then. He’s clearly not in the 2nd group, as seen by his comments lately – he clearly doesn’t care whether or not he upsets people. And I’ve yet to see any issue that he’s passionate about that wouldn’t be mentioned in the debate without him around.
Whatever you think of Newt’s work while he was in Congress, since leaving it he’s become little more than a scam artist – http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/23/maddow-newt-gingrich-direct-mail-scam-artist/ (Yes I know it’s Maddow, but saying “You’ve won! Send us money to collect your price” is a known scam, no matter who reports on it, and I didn’t feel like searching for a better link) There’s nothing wrong with his making money off his time in Congress, he’s not the first or the last, but he is particularly sleazy about it, always pretending to be thinking about running, then backing off before he paperwork on what he’s raised is required. This year it didn’t work out for him as well as previous years; he seeing his gravy train disappear. So he finally “entered” the race. But there is almost no chance of him winning, even before this week, and he doesn’t appear to be sucking up to leadership to use this as a stepping stone or to push a particular issue. He’s scamming us. You can be sure someone somewhere is already writing up a broad outline for the new book “written’ by Newt that will be released sometime in the next 3-4 months. His comments clearly aren’t based on some overall election strategy, they’re based on what gets him on TV, what gets people talking about him. That’s all this is.