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Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 01/26/2012

Gingrich’s momentum-killer

Political predictions are foolish. That said, I predict Newt Gingrich may have peaked.

Mitt Romney is guilty of being rich, but it does not appear to be fatal. Gingrich is guilty of working in Washington for the likes of Fannie Mae, and he can’t seem to shake it. But his real problem emanating from Washington is that those who worked with him and observed him up close are increasingly opposed to his nomination.

Old grudges and past positions are seeping back into the Gingrich story, and it may be stopping his momentum and making voters take a closer look. His expiration date as a viable national candidate, hidden for a while, may be revealing itself.

Read what Elliot Abrams wrote about Gingrich’s role and words that he observed during the Reagan years, as Ronald Reagan was leading the free world in breaking the Soviet Union. Gingrich’s success in the primaries so far is emboldening critics who saw him up close when he was in government to speak out. I was surprised when I saw this for two reasons. First, it reminds us that Gingrich was sometimes a permanent critic or a malcontent rather than a rebel or free-thinker. Second, Abrams isn’t part of the Republican campaign establishment, which takes aim at anyone and everyone during the primaries. I haven’t been able to keep a tally, but it appears that more of Gingrich’s former government colleagues have opposed him than have endorsed him.

Endorsements don’t drive votes, but when the people who know you best are not supporting you, it suggests you are going to have problems as voters get to know you better. Carter makes an important point that Gingrich may be winning the ad war in Florida, and I have said that Romney’s campaign has to be near-perfect to stop Gingrich’s momentum. Romney’s campaign isn’t perfect, but Gingrich appears to be becoming more distracted and angry as certain recollections about him come to light. With serious, credentialed experts such as Abrams saying, “Wait a minute!,” there may be a pause developing in the rush to support Gingrich.

By  |  08:00 AM ET, 01/26/2012

 
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