For all the media attention former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has gotten in recent months as a potential running mate for Republican presidential presumptive Donald Trump, the hype may have been just that — all hype.
The former Georgia lawmaker said Sunday he has not yet been contacted by the Trump campaign about joining the ticket. “Nobody’s called me. Nobody has said, ‘Would you like to be?’ Nobody has said, ‘Would you be willing to be considered?’ Nobody has said anything,” Gingrich said on Fox News Sunday. Here was the take from news rival CNN:
Gingrich said the lack of contact about the vice presidency was not a sign he was out of contention. The Georgia Republican said he thinks Trump will not decide on a running mate until right before the party’s nominating convention.
“(Trump’s) probably going to start thinking about it about two days before Cleveland,” Gingrich said. “I think that Donald Trump does not want to make a decision until the convention.”
When the time comes for Trump to decide, Gingrich said the vetting process in his case would be simple because of how long he has been in the public eye.
Another surprise on the Sunday morning news circuit: Longtime conservative columnist and commentator George Will explains that he didn’t leave the Republican party — the Republican party left him:
European markets continued their plunge today in response to last week’s vote by Britain to leave the European Union. And Democratic presidential presumptive Hillary Clinton began her attempt to emphasize GOP rival Donald Trump’s golf course reaction:
There have been whispers over the last few weeks that Attorney General Sam Olens was interested in the Kennesaw State University job. Those whispers might have even had legs at one point or another, we’re told. But let this development be taken as a signal that Olens isn’t going anywhere. From the press release sent out by his office:
Atlanta, GA- Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens has been elected Vice President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). The Association’s members are the 56 state and territorial attorneys general.
“I am honored to be elected Vice President of NAAG during the coming year,” said Olens. “I want to congratulate our newly elected President, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen. I look forward to working with him and my counterparts on ways to better our individual states.”
While we’re addressing scuttlebutt, top Donald Trump surrogate Bruce LeVell is the subject of much talk about his political future. One theory has him running to replace embattled Georgia GOP chair John Padgett next year, a race that could include Michael McNeely and Alex Johnson.
LeVell, a Dunwoody jeweler and head of Trump’s National Diversity Coalition, hinted to us he’s got bigger things in mind. “The Trump train has more appeal to it,” he said. His daughter, meanwhile, is getting on board as well. From NBC News:
Leah Victoria LeVell is the newest member of the Strategic Initiatives team of the Republican National Committee. In her new role, announced Friday, LeVell is expected to help to craft a message for the RNC that will focus on engaging HBCUs and young Black voters this election cycle.
The 21-year-old rising college senior will be based in Washington, D.C. and will work closely with the RNC’s Director of African American Initiatives and Urban Media, Telly Lovelace.…
You know a political campaign has penetrated when it roils a church whose membership includes many of that community’s top leaders. On Sunday morning, our eagle-eyed AJC colleague Jennifer Brett caught site of this vehicle parked on real estate belonging to the First United Methodist Church of Marietta:
Tim Lee, the incumbent chairman of the Cobb County Commission, is a member here, as are many of Cobb’s political leaders. But Lee is also locked in a Republican primary runoff with retired Marine colonel Mike Boyce, and some members of the church apparently didn’t appreciate the campaign’s intrusion. Brett reports that the vehicle and its signage (whose presence wasn’t sanctioned by the church) were gone by the time morning services were over.
Granted, her last name gave her an alphabetical advantage, but state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams of Atlanta topped a list of up-and-coming Democrats drawn up by Frank Bruni of the New York Times:
I know she’s the first woman to lead either party in either chamber of her state’s legislature. And she’s the first African-American to lead either party in the House.
She’s collected a bevy of citations from an array of organizations and publications as a state lawmaker of extraordinary distinction, and she has a reputation — irksome to some Democrats, inspiring to others — for reaching across party lines….
The question is how broad a path to higher office the state of Georgia affords Democrats, and how many other Democrats, including Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta, are crowding it.
You think Europe has gotten strange lately? You don’t know the half of it. Josh Rogin of the Washington Post reports that U.S. ambassadors to several countries in Europe, and Russia, too, are complaining that Russian security forces have targeted them in a campaign of harassment:
…[M]any of the recent acts of intimidation by Russian security services have crossed the line into apparent criminality. In a series of secret memos sent back to Washington, described to me by several current and former U.S. officials who have written or read them, diplomats reported that Russian intruders had broken into their homes late at night, only to rearrange the furniture or turn on all the lights and televisions, and then leave. One diplomat reported that an intruder had defecated on his living room carpet.
In Moscow, where the harassment is most pervasive, diplomats reported slashed tires and regular harassment by traffic police. Former ambassador Michael McFaul was hounded by government-paid protesters, and intelligence personnel followed his children to school. The harassment is not new; in the first term of the Obama administration, Russian intelligence personnel broke into the house of the U.S. defense attache in Moscow and killed his dog, according to multiple former officials who read the intelligence reports.