Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has emerged as the leading candidate to serve as presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's running mate, taking a narrow lead in the veepstakes race over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
In addition to creating the most oft-married (six times) ticket in presidential history, Gingrich would present some stiff challenges for Trump as well as offer a few advantages.
On the plus side, Gingrich is whip smart and has a deep familiarity with public policy that would serve him well on the vice presidential debate stage. Gingrich's wonkiness would provide a welcome counterpoint to Trump's more, shall we say, ad hoc approach to the nuances of policies from taxes to immigration to foreign affairs.
Gingrich has the kind of "electric" personality that Trump clearly prefers and generally thrills conservative audiences with his frequent appearances on television.
The former speaker would be a rabid attack dog against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, wasting no opportunity to savage her over the Benghazi attack, the email probe, the Clinton Foundation and the entire menu of Clinton family imbroglios that dominate the hashtag fever dreams of the hard right.
Gingrich on the ticket might also convince some wavering establishment Republicans (and mega-donors like Sheldon Adelson) to at least give Trump a second look. One could imagine these Republicans thinking that "sure Trump has no idea what he's doing but we can count on Newt to steer him the right way."
But then there are the negatives, and they are considerable.
Much of America can't stand Gingrich and they despised his tenure on Capitol Hill.
When he quit his presidential campaign in 2012 after a brief moment as the front-runner, Gingrich was the most disliked politician in America. A Gallup poll at the time found that 63 percent of Americans had a unfavorable view of him to just 25 percent who saw him a positive light.