Can’t believe I’m saying this but … second look at Newt?


Yeah, I know I’ll probably get chastised for even thinking it, but Newt’s impressed me a lot in the last several debates. I know he has a lot of baggage, there’s the Pelosi ad disaster, and the fact that he could not exactly be presented as a “family values” candidate – but options are kinda limited right now, in my view. Perry has been a huge disappointment at the debates, in spite of the fact that he is extremely likable and has – in my opinion – been a good Governor for the state of Texas and would make a good POTUS. The fact that he can’t debate well is a huge problem considering he’d be tackling the maestro of debates in Barack Obama. Never thought I’d see someone who was worse than GWB when it came to debating. No, we’re not electing a skilled debater but we DO need someone who can effectively counter the Obama spin machine without breaking a sweat.

Romney is out of the question for obvious reasons, and Cain, whose fierceness and never-say-quit spirit is inspiring to me, nevertheless isn’t doing it for me. That may change, but for now I’m not on the Cain Train. Michele Bachmann lost me over the whole Gardasil issue.

Which brings me back to Newt. Rich Lowry at NRO wonders if now is “Newt’s moment”:

It’s counterintuitive to categorize a former speaker of the House and the builder of a sprawling archipelago of Beltway organizations as an outsider-populist. But Gingrich never lost his genius for the outré. In his prickly hostility to representatives of the media at the debates, he’s trained his fire on the institution that unites all Republicans in their disdain. He can be as inflammatory as Donald Trump and as populist as Sarah Palin. Yet he brings to the table the wellsprings of knowledge of a history Ph.D. and an incorrigible — insufferable, perhaps — policy wonk.

No politician has spent so long saying we need such fundamental change. It is typical of Gingrich that his 21st-century Contract with America is conceived as “a larger and more complex developmental challenge than any presidential campaign has undertaken in modern times.” Cue the eye-rolling. But the country now has such grave challenges even beyond the headline problems of joblessness and spiraling debt that there’s a place for a candidate devoted to upending 20th-century structures in health care, education, and more. Never have Gingrich’s extravagant overstatements seemed so apt.

In many ways, Gingrich would be better-suited as an intellectual ombudsman of the GOP race than as a candidate himself; he has more baggage than Queen Elizabeth II on a road trip. But the hour is late and the pickings are slim. He ran when others didn’t, and his outsider-populism is tinged with brilliance. Republican voters not sold on Mitt Romney might have to decide that you go to political war with the alternative you have.

Bear in mind that I’m not in anyone’s “camp” just yet. My vote has yet to be earned by any of the candidates. But Newt is looking like a viable option more and more every day (my friend Matt Margolis has already endorsed him). Can you imagine a Lincoln/Douglas-style debate with him and Obama? It won’t happen, but drool …


@IrishSpy makes #OccupyOakland “most insensitive tweets” list! PLUS: #OccupyDenver fun


Here I am Tweeting my a** off about the  Occupy Oakland tragedy last night and my co-blogger @IrishSpy goes and one-ups me by making SF Weekly’s “most insensitive Tweets about Occupy Oakland” list — with TWO Tweets!

Congrats, amigo. ;) Let us know your secret…

Meanwhile, Occupy Denver tried to “invade” the conservative BlogCon convention in Denver today.  Didn’t turn out so well. For the “Occupiers.”

I am literally laughing out loud right now! Hot Air has more updates on this developing story.

Phineas butts in: They like me! They really like me!! I’ve posted my own response to this wonderful news here. :)

Cain’s accusers: the axis of Axelrod?


**Posted by Phineas

Writing in Human Events, Ann Coulter (1) has noticed something interesting: Of all the various jobs Herman Cain has held, he’s only been accused of being a sexual predator at one, the National Restaurant Association. He’s also never lived in Chicago, but that’s where all the allegations stem from. And the head of the Illinois Restaurant Association, who’ suspected of being the source of the leak of Cain’s files, is the former chief of staff to former Mayor Daley, an Obama ally. As Allahpundit would say, Hmmm….

And then Coulter noticed one other connection: David Axelrod.

Herman Cain has never lived in Chicago. But you know who has? David Axelrod! And guess who lived in Axelrod’s very building? Right again: Cain’s latest accuser, Sharon Bialek.

Bialek’s accusations were certainly specific. But they also demonstrated why anonymous accusations are worthless.

Within 24 hours of Bialek’s press conference, friends and acquaintances of hers stepped forward to say that she’s a “gold-digger,” that she was constantly in financial trouble — having filed for personal bankruptcy twice — and, of course, that she had lived in Axelrod’s apartment building at 505 North Lake Shore Drive, where, she admits, she knew the man The New York Times calls Obama’s “hired muscle.”

Throw in some federal tax evasion, and she’s Obama’s next Cabinet pick.

The reason all this is relevant is that both Axelrod and Daley have a history of smearing political opponents by digging up claims of sexual misconduct against them.

Coulter then goes on to recount history from Obama’s 2004 US Senate race that bears an eerie similarity to what’s happened to Mr. Cain: the revelations of salacious details and scandal in the divorce records of Obama’s opponents in the Democratic primary and the general election — leaked to the press in spite of the records being sealed. David Axelrod was a key player in the Obama campaign then, too.

Both men’s campaigns were destroyed, and now that he’s risen in the polls to become a serious candidate to face Obama, accusations of sexual misbehavior arise to threaten Herman Cain.

What a coincidence.

I’m not saying there’s nothing to Bialek’s accusations and that this is all an “Axelrodian plot,” nor am I minimizing the problem of sexual harassment; people in positions of power (male and female) all too often fall to the temptation to take advantage of the vulnerable.

But, let’s face it: politics is a dirty game and Team HopenChange has a past history of getting as dirty as needed to win. And not only in Illinois; I’m convinced Axelrod and company were at least backing the efforts of Palin foes in Alaska who filed ethics complaint after ethics complaint in order to paralyze her administration — back then, they saw her as a huge threat for 2012. (But that’s another story for another day.)

Now it’s Herman Cain who, if nominated, may well draw heavily from the Black vote the Democrats must have to win. And suddenly old accusations, buried for years, get new life, and the common thread seems to be Chicago.

Like I said: Hmmm…

(1) For the record, I’m not a Cain-supporter (nor a foe), nor do I have an opinion about whether the charges are true. Nor am I a fan of Coulter or Human Events. But considering the possibility that this is a particularly nasty political dirty trick, given the many coincidences and connections, is not at all unreasonable. It may even be prudent, since we sure to see more like this in the general election.

via Lance of Lowdown Central

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)