In seven-plus minutes of chatter with CNN’s Joe Johns, failed Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich gave us three reasons why we need more of his punditry on the cable dial.
1) Fearlessness mixed with a touch of illogic and pedantry. As Mediaite’s Noah Rothman notes, Gingrich “savaged” Mitt Romney’s campaign, calling it “overly methodical.” He also made the somewhat rote criticism that the campaign hadn’t found a “thematic way of explaining itself and laying out in a clear, crisp way the difference between Romney and Obama.” Thematic, huh? To this novice political analyst, Romney, whether he’s trying to or not, has perhaps outlined too drastic a difference between himself and President Obama.
2) Legitimate strategic smarts. Given the messaging problem that Romney faces in Ohio and Florida, states where Gingrich credits strong Republican governors with minimizing the impact of the economic slump, Gingrich suggested a tack: Tell voters in those states that Romney will do for the country what their governors have done for these states.
3) Huge, unfiltered, towering ego. When the subject of the upcoming debates surfaced, Gingrich was careful to remind everyone just how brilliant he is behind the polemical podium.
I debated him a number of times . . . most of the debates I did pretty well. The last two debates were where it was down to life and death. We were in Florida, and he was in danger of losing the nomination. He came in fired up, decisive, prepared, aggressive and energetic, and to be honest he beat me both times. If he would be as direct, as assertive, as firm with Barack Obama as he was with me in Florida, he’ll win the debate going away and within three days of that debate the polls will change dramatically.
In case you missed the threefold message here:
1) Gingrich racked up a 21-2 win-loss record against Romney in debates. Or something like that.
2) Anyone who faces Newt Gingrich in a debate has to be fired up decisive, prepared, aggressive and energetic. If the Gingrich opponent fails to make the grade in any of those categories, Gingrich’ll toast him.
3) Anyone who performs at the level Romney did in defeating Gingrich will steamroll anyone, including the president.