I know this is wrong because it is so selfish, and I know that he really belongs to the entire nation, but sometimes I pray that Newt Gingrich will give up his ambitions to become President of the United States and instead move to Philly, establish residency, and run for an at-large seat on City Council.
Besides, it would help the city get out of its budget problems. I figure we could charge $50 (more on StubHub) to buy a seat in the Council gallery to hear Gingrich debate Donna Cooper, joust verbally with Frank Rizzo Jr., clash with Jim Kenney over the bill to exempt church bells from the city's noise ordinance. (Would he oppose it as an intrusion of the state into the private realm or support it as state endorsement of religion and family values? Who knows? All I know is that it would be a hoot to hear it.) The thing that makes Gingrich so wonderful is that unlike most pols he lacks a governor -not the elected kind, the machinery kind, herewith defined by J.C. Maxwell in the Proceedings of the Royal Society (No. 100, 1868): "A governor is a part of a machine by means of which the velocity is kept nearly uniform, notwithstanding variations in driving power or the resistance."
I have know other politicians without governors - Vince Fumo, for instance, lacked a moral governor. Gingrich lacks a rhetorical governor. At times, we all come up with whacky theories, strange allusions, bizarre metaphors and wild ideas, but our governor protects us from advancing them. With Gingrich, once he gets revved, there's no stopping him. Velocity increases unchecked. Pretty soon, like an errant rocket, he is soaring into space.
In certain circles - like among a group of guys who are friends -- Gingrich would be the nut, a label not applied derisively, but affectionately. That would be his role to play. He would be The Nut. And when he said something outrageous, his friends would say: "Oh, you know, that's just Newt. He's a nut."
Alas, since political discourse these days also lacks a governor, Gingrich can't play The Nut. He is taken seriously. Which is another reason we need him in Council. No one takes anyone in Council seriously. He could be a nut, unfettered by consequences. Besides, he could probably buy back his federal time, qualify for a city pension and join DROP. Not a bad deal.