Over the years, I've interviewed a number of political candidates who could only be described as delusional. They were running in races they had zero chance of winning yet insisted they were committed to working hard and being the first one ever to defy the odds. And these haven't just been third-party windmill tilters. There were also the Democrats and Republicans running in districts in which their parties seldom or never won and pretending that they have a legitmate shot.
And I must say that I understood what those people were doing on their fools' errands better than I understand what Newt Gingrich is doing:
Newt Gingrich acknowledged on Sunday that his campaign was in fairly massive debt. But the former House Speaker continued to stress that he would remain in the race for purposes of driving the party, and its platform, in certain ideological direction.
[. . .]
Acknowledging that Romney would likely end up as the nominee, Gingrich pledged to help him once he reached the necessary number of delegates. In what capacity he would serve is unclear. The former Speaker said he would talk to RNC officials about how best to serve the party, post-primary. He added that there would be no lingering animus between him and the former Massachusetts Governor, despite the heated campaigning between the two.
Get that? He is conceding that he will not win, and yet he is staying in the race anyway, for the purpose of "driving the party platform," which I think is just his way of saying, "I dread not being noticed." But acknowledging that his mission is futile will discourage people from voting for him, which will drive his number of delegates down, which will make it less likely he will be deemed important enought to contribute to the platform. I know that even being in the presidential race requires an ego verging on narcissism, but, lord, he abuses the privilege.