On a good day you could describe most of the GOP field as not ready for prime time. Newt, on the other hand, may have spent a little too much time in the sun. Look for much more of this as single-issue GOP groups start to sift through his remarkably target-rich record as a public figure.
Now that’s he’s the front-runner in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich’s 33-year-record is officially open for scrutiny. There are plenty of reasons why conservatives might reject the former Speaker of the House, but here’s another one: guns. Georgia Gun Owners, a grassroots gun rights group from his home state, is now blasting Gingrich for “his more than two-decade history of supporting gun control.” The group has asked its 6,000 members to call Gingrich’s new Iowa headquarters and make their complaints known.
If I had to guess, I would pin Newt’s emphatic support of an individual mandate as the single iceberg most likely to sink his campaign. But with Newt you never know. There is an awful lot of ice floating out there, and Cap’n Gingrich has leadership instincts that would scare
John Joe Hazelwood sober.
This may not be good netiquette, but I want to repeat a comment near the end of the last thread, because it fits this one better:
Almost every Republican then in the House (all but 26) voted for the censure and $300,000 fine against Gingrich in 1997. http://tech.mit.edu/V116/N68/house.68w.html
Peter Hoekstra was quoted at the time as saying that Gingrich had embarrassed the House, and “voters will question our judgment” if decisive action is not taken.
I just don’t see how, as a practical matter, the party could let this guy be their standard-bearer for president, after overwhelmingly voting to disgrace him in the leadership position that he now claims as his primary qualification. As crazy as things are, I just don’t see how this can happen.
It would be like the Dems nominating Charlie Rangel–and I’m not sure even that captures it. And it’s not as if Gingrich has some redemptive story since then; he’s just raked in tens of millions of dollars as an unregistered lobbyist and traded in a second wife for the third. The conversion to Catholicism shouldn’t get him there; Catholics don’t buy or recognize the “born again” theory.
Surely someone in the GOP will have both the motivation and the goods to stick the shiv in. There just isn’t any precedent for anything like this candidacy after so complete a fall from grace at the hands of one’s own party (that I can think of, anyway).
Villago Delenda Est
The lecherous amphibian will tell you that the only reason he supported the individual mandate back in the ’90s was to offer an unacceptable to Democrats alternative to “Hillarycare”; if the Clinton administration had embraced the GOP plan, they’d move the goalposts yet again.
They don’t want to change the bizarre parasitic health “care” system in this country. They want to continue enable vampires to suck the blood of the general populace…particularly the criminal organizations that are the for profit health “insurance” companies.
It may not matter at this point. If you count Trump, we have had five NotRomneys surge to the head of the pack, with the previous four flaming out in pretty spectacular fashion. Cain is out, Trump was never in, we now know Perry is as stupid as he looks, and Bachman, well what can you say about crazy eyes?
That leaves, aside from Newton Leroy, the frothy mixture and the weird old uncle who consistently gets 15% of the 27% but never much more than that. The bench is thin and they may be stuck with the Newt if the NotRomneys have their way. And no, I have not forgot about Huntsman. But the guy can barely pull above negative and has been stuck at the same 1-2 percent since entering the race.
So, if it comes down to Newt and Mr. Plastic, I think Newt may just get the nod. There are that many Republican voters that simply hate Romney; some because he is a Morman, some because he is a flip flopper and the rest because they think he is too “liberal”.
Guns won’t be the deciding issue you think – the people who care about them enough to vote on them will choose a gun-control Republican over a pro-gun Democrat seven days a week and twice on Sunday. I’ve seen local elections where the NRA scored the Republican who had voted for gun control in the high 80% range, and his Democratic opponent who was an avid hunter and collector in the 30% range. Besides, where else would the gun voters go at this point? Mittens? Perry Redux?
Via TPM, I enjoyed this little shot across the bow from NancySMASH:
Oh, my. :-)
Well I sure hope he gets the nom because even with voter surpression laws he won’t win. Will he?
Well I sure hope he gets the nom because even with voter surpression laws he won’t win. Will he?
Newt recently said that life begins at successful implantation in the uterus, not conception. He’s toast walking.
I don’t see how Newt’s support for an individual mandate can sink him when the alternative would be Romney.
@EconWatcher: he’s got a long, and very ‘interesting’ record… Pelosi’s got a trunk of dirt stored away from her time on the committee investigating Newt, but is sitting on it waiting for the best moment to deploy…
Doesn’t matter. It’s him or Romney and they’re realizing Romney isn’t all that electable either.
@Villago Delenda Est: “lecherous amphibian” FTW
@JenJen: beat me to the punch!
I cop to feeling like Barney Frank, though…. I just don’t know if I’ve been a good enough person to be rewarded with a Newt Gingrich GOP nomination. Fingers crossed and I’m being extra sweet and nice. ;-)
if they are dumb enough to nominate Newt…then the fun begins.
@EconWatcher: Jim Wright, even more than Rangel. Disgraced Speakers of the House are supposed to know enough to slink away, or so I thought.
@Steve: At this point I wonder if it’s just entirely visceral. That Gingrich could attack Romney for healthcare and be in the clear because the issues don’t matter, it’s who’s weak and who’s strong. That all Gingrich has to do is make himself look strong, by constantly attacking, until the payoff.
He just needs to stay alive long enough for all the Not Romney voters to get very confused come January. That said if Gingrich flames out early, I can conceivably see a massive bolt to Paul in the early states that will make things very confusing for South Carolina and Florida voters.
My money is going to stay on Romney, if only because every time we do another round of “GOP Flavor of the Month!” you’re going to see another batch of would-be anti-Romney voters just stay home on voting day.
@EconWatcher: Yeah, I was pretty convinced for a while that Newt’s official title was Disgraced Former Speaker.
That said, consistency isn’t a republican strong suit. And Gingrich is best known for going after a Democrat. Maybe that’s all it takes these days.
Why don’t the Republicans do what they really want to do. Persuade some guy to legally change his name to “Not Mitt Romney” and place his name on the ballot.
Well you can’t really expect Gingrich to be good at sitting for long periods of time steering a ship:
@Seonachan: Oh, Christ, I’d forgotten about that. Holy shit, this campaign is gonna suck if he gets the nom.
@Seonachan: of all the animals Gingrich could come up with for his metaphorical ‘hunt’ a giraffe is what he came up with? How many men really ‘dream’ of hunting a giraffe? A lion, tiger or bear would be a more worthy challenge… a deer, bison or other grazer for food I can see… but a giraffe?
Tim F., if Newt’s support for a mandate will end his campaign, why is Mandate Mitt the overwhelming favorite? Sometimes you don’t think these things out.
Culture of Truth
As George Will noted, he has 60 days not to say something really stupid and win Iowa. Can he do it???
@sukabi: Obviously, you’ve never eaten a giraffe and don’t know about one of the finest meats ever evolved on earth. They don’t have blood so much as a marinade of bay leaves and garlic coursing through their veins. A very tender roast they make after 3-4 years of living.
Also, I went to one of those safari parks once where you drive your car around, and the giraffe walked up to my car and started licking the windshield and roof. Giraffes are dangerous and fearless that way. I barely escaped with my life.
Uhh…what? Willard barely breaks 25% support anywhere in the primary. Just because he’s the favorite of the establishment doesn’t mean he’ll win automatically.
@sukabi: Well, if a manly man has to hunt with his bare hands, it is hard as hell to reach all the way up there to squeeze the damn thing’s neck.
I just can’t see Paul taking this thing over. Yes, he has good organization in Iowa and will most likely finish second. Beyond that, where does he go. As I said in my previous post, Paul consistently gets 15% of the 27% He may even pick up a few Cain supporters and get to 20%. But, like Romney, he has a ceiling, and can’t seem to break through it.
@Tuffy: Mitt claims that he only endorsed a statewide mandate and he would never ever do such a thing to the country as a whole. Yes, bullshit, but just credible enough that a desperate partisan can buy it if he wants to badly enough. Gingrich flat out endorsed the President’s plan. Nationwide mandate, the whole works. The difference seems silly but Mitt has had moderate success finessing the point in debates.
@feebog: But (Huntsman) can barely pull above negative and has been stuck at the same 1-2 percent since entering the race.
Though as several people have pointed out, Romney has been stuck at the same 21-22 percent since entering the race in 2008. The not-Romney is strong.
And so begins another week of “look someone in the GOP said or did something stupid to get attention so let’s get sucked in for the millionth time”
small nit–Captain Hazlewood (of Exxon Valdez infamy) is named Joseph.
John Hazelwood may have been a drinker, but he was apparently a hell of a brown water sailor, too.
And the thing about him being drunk was Exxon’s blame shifting for them not fixing the radar on the ship that would have allowed the rated helmsman to avoid the accident.
Well, that’s where it gets fun. I think Paul can conceivably win Iowa. It’s a caucus and he’s got a very enthusiastic base. Beyond that, I think he can place at or near Gingrich in New Hampshire (although I suspect Romney will still take the state). Romney will take Nevada by virtue of Mormonism and all the polls will show it.
That can put SC and FL voters in a peculiar spot. Do they vote for 3rd place Gingrich (the loser), 2nd place Paul (the crazy Libertarian), or 1st Place Romney (shudder)? That is what I ultimately think will tip it for Romney. Its his turn and Republicans will be inclined to vote for the guy who is currently “winning” the race.
Paul won’t go anywhere after New Hampshire. But if he beats Gingrich (or maybe even Romney by a nose), it will dim Gingrich’s appeal and make the Not Romney voters uncertain of how to allocate their votes. Paul is purely a spoiler.
The base of this party really hates Mitt Romney.
It’s really that simple.
If the GOP is dumb enough to nominate Newt, then the American people just might be dumb enough to make him President.
I wish folks would stop crowing prematurely like this. I feel like it’s Act One of some old Greek tragedy…
Herbal Infusion Bagger
“If the GOP is dumb enough to nominate Newt, then the American people just might be dumb enough to make him President.”
I have a hard time seeing Newt not pissing off the female vote sufficiently to win. Dumping your wife on her cancer ward bed ‘cos she’s not purty enough to be First Lady ain’t gonna fly with the non-wingnuts.
@Soonergrunt: The original Mobile Riverine Force!
Add in the fact that there are very few delegates at stake in these early primaries (proportional allocation + 50% penalty for moving up primary). If SC and FL split their votes three or four ways this could get very interesting. Because winner take all does not kick in until April 1, we may still have four or five candidates in the race.
The Other Bob
You are right that at no time should D’s feel a race is in the bag, no matter who the R’s nominate, but…
Can you imagine what the average, non primary voter will think, the morning after the R’s nominate Newt? They will have to be wondering what the hell the R’s were thinking. His resume might sound OK, but as the scandles known and unknown pile on I would think many would be asking WTF? Is this guy a valid alternative to Obama?
They hated John McCain, too. They still do.
But he was the nominee, and just under half the voters in the country still pulled the lever for him anyway.
Never, ever underestimate the average Republican’s willingness to vote for a scarecrow stuffed with week-old haggis if it had an “R” next to his name and was running against a Democrat.
You haven’t been paying attention to today’s Republican Party. Raking in tens of millions of dollars is proof of redemption to the
JesusMammon Freaks that make up the core of the GOP today.
After reading the comments at TPM then clearing away the accumulated tears of blood, it seems like the general consensus is that “If Nancy has so much on Newt, why not release it?”.
The answer is fairly simple. Nancy Pelosi just fired a shot over Newt Gingrich and the GOP’s bow. She wants them to know what’s in store for them if Newt wins.
Considering Newt’s past history, I’m sure it’s good.
And then all of Earth, not just America, will have to suffer through his presidency: howling ineptitude with skeeviness, and a garnish of gasbaggery. It was already a long eight years with George Walker Bush. Dubya was living proof of the difference between having college degrees and having an education; but at least he never pretended to be the smartest person in the room. With da Noot, we won’t be so lucky.
You guys better not blow this one.
@Herbal Infusion Bagger:
True, but these are low-information voters. How’s that little nugget of truth going to get to them, if they get all their information from Fox News and talk radio?
@The Other Bob:
Some of them will think that. Others will dimly recognize him as “that guy from the 1990s, from when things were better”, and wonder if they should vote for him. “Big words, tough talk, experience, not Obama– maybe this is the guy?”
Let’s hope that your (pl.) opinions of the American people are closer to the truth than mine. I’d make another one of my Dateline from White Suburbia comments, but it’d just be more of the same depressing bullshit, I’ll spare you.
Yup. It’s not hard to employ cognitive dissonance on Republicans, as they don’t cognate well. Anybody paying the slightest attention knows Newton travels with a Titanic-load of baggage, not to mention baggage yet to come.
@Raven: yup–that guy seemed to know his shit.
Of course, if you think about it, the Exxon Valdez may yet prove to be the ideal comparison to the 2012 Republican presidential campaign–the powers that be (Exxon) in the Republican field won’t give adequate support to the candidate (Captain) and so the ship will run aground in a particularly nasty way, and they’ll blame him for the failure.
McCain was an old school Republican. No one who paid attention to politics for more than five minutes could miss that. He got his bones in ’00 by being an outsider saying mavericky things, then won more liberal support by virtue of being so anti-Bush for the next two years. But once you got past that, you realized he was as conservative as Leave it to Beaver and straight-from-the-factory apple pie.
All that “he’s not a real conservative” bullshit is reserved for other Republicans running against him. It vanishes in the general because McCain would have been far better for Republicans than Obama by virtue of being a Republican and extending the Bush-Era presidential winning streak.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Nah, just the biggest black comedy since Dr Strangelove. The fact is, as Kthug explained, all of the GOP nominees are sleaze bags or nutters, it’s a feature of the modern GOP. So 2012 is really down to will the American voter prefer a crazy white guy to a boring black guy?
Why doesn’t Mitt just say he didn’t really want a mandate, but it was the best he could do to water down the Evil Costal Liberal Elite plan for Sockulized Healthcare. It’s probably good enough to kill the issue, and even has the advantage of being true.
@Zifnab wrote :
he’s already flamed out…late, early, and repeatedly.
this guy is an amphibious zombie.
I completely agree with that, yet it surprises me at the same time. That would seem to indicate that Nancy Pelosi and the democrats don’t want Newt to be the candidate. Does that mean they think Newt would be harder to beat than Romney? Or does it mean that if the worst were to happen and a republican were to get elected, they would rather have it be Romney? Or maybe they really do think they have more on Romney than on Newt?
What’s going to sink Newt’s campaign is his current mistress. I’m sure there is such an entity. It’s pretty much the only thing he has been consistent about throughout his career and Calista is well past the sell by date.
If they get all their information from Fox News and talk radio, they’re hard-core Republican voters who would vote for a Hitler/Satan ticket if that’s who the GOP chose to nominate. But people like that make up a tiny part of the electorate. The actual swing voters who might be convinced will watch regular TV shows, read newspapers, surf the web, check fliers in the mail, or whatever, and Obama will be able to buy advertising in those channels.
@HyperIon: watch out, can’t salamanders walk through fire?
Or that she’s talking to her own side (“Chill the fuck out. I’ve got this.”) and expects the Republicans to ignore whatever she says. Or that she’s trying to play 11 dimensional chess by convincing the Republicans to vote for Newt by making it sound as if she’s afraid of him.
Paul in KY
@Suffern ACE: You poor devil…
Paul in KY
@WaterGirl: Maybe they think Newt would be much worse for country if he was somehow to win, so they don’t even want him with a shot (the nomination).
I think the 11-dimensional chess Nancy is playing is more “Go ahead, nominate him. I dare you.” Because the way the Rs think, that’s waving a red flag in front of a bull. They’ll think “you may have facts and historical data and truth and reality, but we have Citizens United.”
And they may be right.
I am just glad Mitt is already an adult. The kind of persistent rejection he’s getting from his ‘political family’ would emotionally cripple any child/adolescent for life.
And it must dawn on him that this isn’t something that is likely to get better. When will he get out just to preserve his last speckle of self-respect. Or is it too late for that already?
Why would you release oppo research during their primary? You wait until they have a candidate and then you bring it out. You sure as hell don’t want to push the candidate out of the race that you have 1000 pages of research against to see him replaced with a relatively clean sheet like Huntsman.
Ahem. I believe I called it. The base will lap up the amphibian Totally Being A Man here.
The Other Chuck
There are a lot of things you can say about Newt, but spending any time in the sun doesn’t appear to be one of them. He looks like something that crawled out from under a rotting log.