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

Posted by: ST on November 11, 2011 at 7:00 pm

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 …


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24 Responses to “Can’t believe I’m saying this but … second look at Newt?”


  1. Steve says:

    Sister, it’s like you were reading my mind.

  2. Great White Rat says:

    Agreed. Newt’s been on his game at every debate I’ve seen. He’s obviously well versed on the subjects and can speak confidently and directly to them. But what really makes him stand out is that he’s realized that the public – at least that part that watches the GOP debates – is fed up with the press bias. Unlike the other candidates, who treat the moderators deferentially, he’s not afraid to call BS on them when they toss a loaded question, or rip them for covering for Obama. You not only enjoy hearing ideas expressed with intelligence, you get to see someone give the media shills exactly what they deserve but so seldom receive. It’s what makes heads turn and other conersations stop when Gingrich gets a question.

  3. Phineas says:

    I have bad memories of Newt from the 90s, but, of course, it’s always possible for someone to reform. His conversion to Catholicism may reflect that. And there is no doubt the man not only knows public policy, but the history of it and the “whys” of it. And he is a superb debater, no doubt.

    On the downside, his own history will give a gold mine of material to the Obama campaign, and I have to wonder how that will play with independents, even if conservatives are willing to cut him slack.

    And then there are the old questions about his energy and focus. The next POTUS will have a lot on his plate.

    But, yeah, I’m with you in giving him a second look, ST.

  4. Stephanie says:

    For now I will call myself a disgruntled conservative. Hope I am not the only one.

  5. proof says:

    Yeah. Newt’s got some baggage, but he’s got the “Not Mitt Romney” going for him.

  6. I am with you. Never thought I would say this, but I am team Newt.

  7. jann says:

    It’s so weird that his baggage doesn’t seem that bad….because our situation is THAT BAD! Good Lord help us, I will vote for Newt, still mad Gov Palin isn’t running….still!! :(( :-w

  8. Joseph says:

    I certainly don’t chastise you. Newt is a true intellect, not the phony one that Obama’s supporters (and before him, Clinton’s) claim him to be. He would run rings around “The One” in a debate, and as for his baggage, one of the things he was attacked for was the story about confronting his “cancer-stricken” wife in the hospital with their divorce papers, but it is now known that that story was highly embellished, and he was not the meanie that the press portrayed him as being.

  9. Rob says:

    I too have been sort of on the Cain-train over these past few months, even before his popularity swelled. But I am having to take a second look as the train looks like it might be heading for a derail (sidenote: Cain needs to send his campaign manager packing). Gingrich has always been in the back of my mind. He is very smart and has the ability to smoke Obama in the debates. The baggage you spoke was the main thing that caused me to keep him at arms length. While I won’t support Romney in the primaries, I will support him in the general election if it comes to that.

  10. proof says:

    Joseph: Newt can thank John Edwards for blunting the cancer stricken wife charges. The baggage I was thinking of was more in the line of playing footsie with Nancy Pelosi over global warming and supporting Dede Scozzafava over a conservative in NY-23.

  11. nina says:

    Don’t trust him at all.

  12. Chris in NC says:

    If I thought Newt could overcome his grinch reputation, I would be team Newt in a second. I just don’t see him beating Obama in the election. In the debates, it would be great, but on election day, I think we’d see Obama prevail. But then again, if the economy gets worse (and it probably will), then Newt could pull it out. Romney, Cain and Newt need to debate and the rest go home. We have way too many holding on to a lost dream.

  13. Marshall Art says:

    Indeed. It would be good to see a few drop out soon. I thought Bachmann blew it with the Gardasil issue as well, but also her overall strategy seemed to play away from her strengths as a conservative woman with both political and business experience, as well as her strong social stance. She needed better guidance and now she has faded way too far I fear. Also, she has, like Santorum, Romney and Perry, spent too much time attacking each other. This is something that Gingrich has done better at steering clear of, and chides the media for trying to pit them against each other.

    As for Newt, I would tend to think that he is likely prepared to deal with questions about his “baggage” and would probably handle them better than any of the others could. It would be just a matter of whether or not indies would buy any of it.

    At this point, I just want to see whoever wins the primary to get massive support in order to boot Barry O. If we can get to the next election with a Republican in charge, we have people like Rubio, Jindal and one or two others that might be ready to shine.

  14. Jim McDonald says:

    Newt has always been a smart guy, and he was the one who stopped clintoncare and passed welfare reform. Please remember that a lot of the negative feelings people have for him is a creation of the MSM.

  15. Carlos says:

    Every candidate has baggage, even Duh-1.

    The problem is, where every other candidate has to deal with both the media and the public in resolving questions about the baggage, the fawning media carries Obhammud’s securely in hermetically sealed luggage and it’s only through persistent and constant probing that any of his baggage ever reaches the public, mostly through the alternative media.

    A difficult task, but (IMHO) one that can be overcome. Personal opinion is that Bugsy Seigel didn’t have as much baggage as our current beloved leader.

  16. George Robinson says:

    Good grief, sister and my wife are the same people in separate— well something strange, except my wife came out for Newt about a year ago—being the genius in the family I thought she was doing so to chastise me for being such a Sarah fan.

  17. CZ says:

    I’m with Nina. Never did like Newt, don’t trust him. Wish he would just go away.

    Let’s just wait and see what the voters say in the primaries and in the meantime, pay no attention to the MSM and FOX too. All of them want to pick our candidate. It’s up to the people to decide.

  18. Ken says:

    I like Newt. He’s definitely the smartest candidate running. I know he has a lot of baggage, but I think he’s both smart and experienced enough to deal with the inevitable smears that will come from the 0 campaign. He would wipe the floor with 0 in any debate. As far as “baggage” his has had 14 years to air out. 0 has lots of baggage too, if only the so-called free press would report it.


  19. Lorica says:

    I am abit late posting to this one, but I believe Newton’s baggage is no where near as bad as Obama’s dreams. I am still upset about the “era of Reagan is over” comment, but I would vote for virtually anyone over our current C in C. Romney would almost be the only exception over the rest of the pack presently running. If only we could get the 2008 Romney back then I would be happier about him. – Lorica

  20. Carlos says:

    Lorica, Mitt was a flip-flopping sleazebucket in 2008, he was in 2004, and he is in 2011. What makes you think he’s had a “Come to Jesus” moment now?

    The only differences between Mitt and Zero are how fast they’ll take us to their own visions of Utopia, and which “1%ers” that will be their “crony capitalist” buddies.

    I will admit, though, I can’t envision Mitt with a White House full of thugs. Just thieves, like Zero, too.

  21. Svensk says:

    Whenever I hear anyone calling Barry “No Jobs” Obama “the maestro of debates” or “the great orator”, it makes my gut retch. The dufus is an empty suit, totally devoid of connecting two complimentary sentences to make a cogent thought..He stammers and stutters, mispronounces words, counts 57 states, etc. The “Moron Media” has somehow brainwashed otherwise clear-thinking conservatives into believing that the Joe Paterno of politics has even the slightest clue about economics, American patriotism, and anything other than prevaricating his way to re-election. Give me a friggin’ break! He has absolutely no record to run on…He’s a total failure! He is NOT a great debater, nor is he a great orator….He’s a MEGALOSER!!!

  22. Bumr50 says:

    Admitted Cain Train passenger here-

    I’d feel more comfortable voting for Newt than possibly any other candidate in the race, but I’ve got serious trust issues with both him and Rick Perry, my no.s 2 and 3 in no particular order.

    I trust Herman Cain to do the right thing for America. Sounds sappy and ill-informed, I know. All that I know is that I do.

  23. Lorica says:

    Lorica, Mitt was a flip-flopping sleazebucket in 2008, he was in 2004, and he is in 2011. What makes you think he’s had a “Come to Jesus” moment now?

    Huh?? I don’t know what you are saying Carlos. Where do you see that I think that Romney had a come to Jesus moment. LOL

    but I would vote for virtually anyone over our current C in C. Romney would almost be the only exception over the rest of the pack presently running. If only we could get the 2008 Romney back then I would be happier about him.

    I would have a problem voting for Mr. Romney and I liked him better in 2008. But no where do I say I would vote for the man. If Romney gets the nomination, I might take that as an act of God that He, God, wants President Obama to have another term. That is why I say that Romney would be the only exception to voting for virtually anyone. LOL – Lorica