In the parabola of life, it is mostly the very old and the very young who are most interested in napping. Newt Gingrich is only 68, which isn’t so old, but life on the trail seems to be taking a toll on him, and he is tired. So tired, in fact, that he is ready for nap time. He’ll nap any time, any place, no need for Goodnight Moon to be read (though he probably wouldn’t say no to that particular book). We know this because below is what we thought at first might be an art student’s experimental film, to be played on a loop at his end of his end-of-semester departmental show, but it is, in fact, actual footage of Newt Gingrich dozing off repeatedly just before he is set to be beamed in live to speak via satellite at an AIPAC conference.
He wakes up briefly to perhaps reveal the stuff of his dreams (“Listening to Panetta is not a relaxing experience”) but then, the head lolls forward, chin dipping breastward. The eyes drift and drift and drift and driiiiift toward sweet, sweet oblivion. And then, a quick jolt back awake! Or, another variation, a smooth, languorous, lingering awakening, as if he knows he must rejoin the world of politics and Iranian aggression and being Israel’s best friend, but juuuust wants to delay that moment as long as possible. Chin up! Newt tells himself as he reaches full , and looks sad at being awake. He sighs a little sigh and shrugs his shoulders. (We’ve got all that in GIF form, in case you’re as oddly mesmerized by the jowl movement as we are.)
Newt does gets it together enough to have both eyes open when the live conference feed cuts to him for his speech. “I understand you have a panel. I look forward to any questions.” There is no panel, as someone tells him after twelve seconds; he was clearly meant to give prepared remarks that he never prepared, because, screw it. This thing is kinda over, right? I’ll just wing it, he must have thought to himself, in the manner of college freshmen everywhere who have waited until 1 a.m. to start studying for a test. It’s more important to be rested. But then, without missing a beat, he replies with the Newtiest of all Newt gambits, “We need a fundamental reassessment … “and he’s off to the races. It’s a line he could deliver in his sleep.