I'M THINKING Donald Trump ought to tap one Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich as his running mate.

You think it's a bad idea, huh?

You think pompous Newt's too much like The Donald. Or has hair too much like The Donald's? Or makes The Donald (by contrast) sound like a know-nothing?

You think such a ticket's too tabloid: "Double-Barrel Bombast," "I'm with Stupid," "Hair today, gone tomorrow?"

Or, for family-values folks, "Six Wives Great Adventure."

Well, you probably also thought it was a bad idea for Trump to glide down that escalator and glibly kick off his campaign by calling immigrant Mexicans "rapists."

Granted, didn't seem a good idea at the time, but let's be honest: It helped him win the Republican nomination.

So with American politics abiding in the world of showboating bluster, who better than Gingrich to sidekick with Trump?

This assumes the unavailability of Clint Eastwood (or his chair).

Newt brings bold vision.

The former House Speaker and past presidential candidate wants to colonize the moon and go to Mars. And no cracks about, yeah well, he should do so and take Trump with him.

Newt's got Pennsylvania roots.

While the state hasn't backed a GOP presidential candidate since 1988, it's seen as GOP-gettable (I am not making this up), maybe even key to the White House. Newt was born in Harrisburg.

Newt and The Donald have things in common other than three wives each.

Gingrich, as a House Whip in 1994, was credited with Republicans winning House control for the first time in 40 years. He graced the cover of Time magazine.

Trump gas been on the cover of Time. And he's credited with bringing in new many GOP voters, including in Pennsylvania.

Newt's past can balance fears about Trump's future.

A conservative 20-year denizen of Congress and Speaker during Bill Clinton's presidency, Newt helped balance the federal budget and pass welfare reform.

He brings D.C. experience, congressional know-how and intellectual heft, in addition to actual heft (which reminds me, Chris Christie's still out there, too).

Newt gets messaging.

Campaigning with Trump in Ohio last week, Gingrich both riled and thrilled the crowd with this: "Is there a single person here who believes that if you had done what Hillary Clinton had done that you would not be prosecuted?"

The crowd, of course, yelled, "NO!"

And Newt gets Trump.

"This guy," says Newt, "is going to kick over the table."

Lots of folks want that.

Are there better picks? Sure. Twice-elected New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (woman, Hispanic, former DA) could help with Trump trouble spots such as, oh, I don't know, women and Hispanics.

But Trump stepped on that prospect, calling her out in her own state. After she declined to attend a Trump rally there in May, he said she's "got to do a better job" on immigration and her state's economy.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence with 12 years in Congress meets Trump's lean toward someone with Washington experience. But Pence is basically Pencezzzzzz.

The afore-noted Jersey boy pretty much left his national ambitions stuck on the George Washington Bridge.

And Trump's interest in retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, an advisor, invites unflattering comparisons to past ex-military running mates: George Wallace's 1968 pick, Gen. Curtis LeMay, was viewed as nuke-'em-all extreme; Ross Perot's 1992 pick, Adm. James Stockdale, a total VP debate dud.

Other possible Trump picks include Sens. John Thune and Jeff Sessions. Yawn.

That leaves Newt. He's rested and ready. He and Trump are perfect together, a pair of punchers eager to fight Hillary "extremely careless" Clinton.


Blog: ph.ly/BaerGrowls

Columns: ph.ly/JohnBaer