James Hirsen seems a little desperate to praise Newt Gingrich in his Dec. 13 Newsmax column. Straining for a suitable pop-culture reference, Hirsen declares that Gingrich has the same sort of "geeky intellectualism" as the cast of the sitcom "Big Bang Theory."
The plotline of "Big Bang" revolves around two roommates, experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter and theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, who are friends with aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Rajesh Koothrappali.
The intellectual prowess and comic geekiness of the four characters have transformed them into pop icons that amazingly share quite a few traits with former House Speaker Gingrich.
The GOP presidential candidate has a Ph.D. from Tulane and has worked as a professor of both history and geography. He famously co-authored and initiated the "Contract with America," which resulted in the Republican revolution of the 1990s.
It is also true that at think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute and Hoover Institution, Gingrich is a well-respected policy wonk.
That being said, his bona fide coolness comes from the same genuine curiosity about the world that attracts television audiences to the Sheldon character on "Big Bang." It turns out that, just like Sheldon, Gingrich has a deep love for science, particularly quantum physics.
The GOP presidential front-runner emanates a coolness that the current culture understands and admires, thanks to the achievements of real-life uber-nerds Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and the like.
Gingrich’s campaign would be well served to check into whether a Star Trek convention is scheduled any time soon in Iowa.