As the parade of conservative goofballs wends its way over the cliff – one by one, rather like drunk buffalo - we can now focus our attention on a lagger who is coming to the fore. One Newton Leroy Gingrich of Harrisburg/Atlanta suburbs/divorce court.
Newt’s on a roll in the polls. He has been far and away the most cogent, intelligent debater…and, if I may add, delightful to watch. He’s like a cranky but rather swell uncle on those stages. Knocking the stupid questions, ripping the media, and then, on occasion, actually doing the unthinkable….sounding as if he actually means what he’s saying. Given the bizarre personas presented by the other runts in the GOP race, he’s refreshing.
Newt Gingrich is as surprising a candidate as a man with his resume can possibly be. Less than 6 months ago he was overseeing a joke and calling it a campaign. Staff was ditching, he was answering questions about an open Tiffany’s account and making ‘campaign trips’ to Hawaii. Then two things changed for him:
1. One candidate after another has imploded or is imploding, or has elected not to
implode.….err….I mean run.
2. The GOP decided to go heavy on the debate schedule this cycle. The format suits Gingrich. He’s not unlike Bill Clinton in that he’s a policy guy, in his element rattling off the minutia directly after intoning the broad stroke. Conservatives will give him a another look and one wonders, ironically, if the 3rd spouse won’t be the keeper.
Of course, a closer look at Newt will focus on many a pockmark. He’s a man with a past. Readers here will no doubt loath him forever for the absurd Clinton impeachment. This won’t bother the GOP a bit. It helps him. However, 2 unpleasant divorces, a dalliance with the evil environmentalists, and, I suspect, even his early work with Nelson Rockefeller (remember liberal Republicans!!!???) will all get some play.
For a fortnight or so, none of it will matter to the lost and loveless “Not Romneys”. (Before I hear about Cain’s poll numbers ‘holding up’ I’ll simply repeat Cain’s done, one way or the other. Watch. If Cain is running for President on February 2nd feel free to slam me…but I’m telling you now – he won’t be.) So the GOP right has no where else to go and the truth is Newt’s not such a bad third (or is it fourth?) spouse. Many will view it rather like marrying their long-lost high school sweetheart. He’s stouter and grayer, but that teenage tingle has matured into something cozy, soothing.
I don’t discount Newt’s ability to do some damage in the GOP primaries. He’s got the chops but, lest one forget, he has piles of baggage. He may be a major surprise…or another let down for conservative faithful. The ranks are getting thin on the Right though. Ms. Palin has decamped to the great North, Ms. Bachman has decamped to obscurity, Pawlenty, Christie, Daniels…all distant memories. If they don’t decide to love someone soon they may end up in a shot-gun marriage to Rick Santorum. Ricky S. is, after all, next in line after Newt.