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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 01/24/2012

Morning Bits

True. “Gingrich has used his debate skills — and his instinct to hit the raw nerves of conservatives — to camouflage considerable weaknesses as a candidate. The three wives, and cheating on and leaving the first two while they were ill; inconsistency on the most consequential conservative causes of the past decade; episodic bouts of self-importance severe even by politicians’ standards; and countless tales of erratic leadership in crisis.”

Not even Gingrich’s loathing of the media is genuine. “People who have been around Newt Gingrich a lot have surely seen the scene: There’s Gingrich, retinue of followers in tow, just before a big speech, bragging about how he’s going to bowl over the crowd, really “wow” them, reveling in his own splendor. He gives off an air of a self-infatuated actor about to take the stage, playing a wholly fictional character rather than being himself. It’s all a show. It’s all about how to make the audience applaud. It was that same attitude that was on display at last Thursday’s debate when he ripped apart John King for asking the question about Marianne Gingrich’s allegations, calling King ‘despicable,’ only to bound over to King when the debate was over and congratulate him, all smiles, for conducting such a great debate.”

George Will explains the reality for Republicans if Gingrich gets the nomination. “They could be running next autumn with Gingrich — whose current approval rating nationally in a Jan. 12-14 Fox News and Opinion Dynamics poll was 27 percent favorable, 56 percent unfavorable — atop the ticket. They have nothing to fear so much as an absence of fear about this. With Gingrich defining the GOP brand, the Republicans’ dream — unified government: a trifecta of holding the House, winning the Senate and the White House — might become three strikes and they are out.”

Jim Geraghty argues that Iowa’s actual impact is nil. “This cycle has given critics of Iowa’s prominence a great deal of ammunition, but even if the state’s turnout had been higher and the count had been clear and no ballots had been lost, a definite pattern would remain: The rest of the country just isn’t all that enamored with the candidates Iowa likes best.”

James Capretta says despite the White House spin, the fact of the matter is that ObamaCare isn’t being implemented in a majority of states. “[T]here’s a very long list of states — nearly 30 — with strong Republican governors who have absolutely no interest in doing anything to solidify the position of ObamaCare as the inevitable blueprint for our future. Think Texas, and Florida, and Indiana, and Iowa, and New Mexico, and Kansas. The leaders of these states understand that. . . . With so much uncertainty surrounding the law, Republican governors have every reason to sit back and wait to see what happens this year before any decisions are made. And that’s exactly what the vast majority of them are doing.”

The truth is that Gingrich inevitably makes fools of his supporters. “In response to charges from Mitt Romney that the former House speaker ‘lobbied’ for Freddie Mac, Newt Gingrich campaign surrogate J.C. Watts, a former congressman from Oklahoma, argued that his work as a ‘consultant’ to the mortgage giant actually makes Gingrich a better candidate for president.” Good grief.

Vice President Joe Biden may be a blabbermouth, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. “Look this is quicksand, and I think that Newt Gingrich, as we all are, is going to be judged by the voters in the primary on the totality of who he is, and that includes everything. People make judgments about our character. They make judgments about our positions.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 01/24/2012

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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