I had a discussion with my brother a few weeks ago, on the question of whether Newt Gingrich was “pop-culturally irrelevant.” I argued that, as far as younger voters are concerned, he can be compared to Henry Kissinger. Both are controversial, yet influential political figures from earlier eras. Both would be best known to our generation as occasional talking heads, who sometimes advise prominent politicians. And neither has held political office since I’ve been following politics, which would probably be the 2000 election, when I turned 15.
My brother suggested that Gingrich is actually worse than Henry Kissinger. At least Kissinger is respected now. The former Secretary of State has some vocal critics, but both Obama and McCain praised him during the 2008 election. It was seen as a positive thing that President Bush sought his advice regarding the Iraq war, and he has since met with President Obama. He’s also been on the Colbert Report and Futurama. So you could certainly make the argument that for as long as I’ve been following politics, Kissinger has been more relevant than Gingrich.