Liberals are licking their chops over the prospect of Newt Gingrich getting the nomination. Greg Sargent: “Remember when he criticized Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan as ‘right wing social engineering,’ giving Dems a handy talking point to bludgeon the plan for weeks? Shows you just how shrewd a political tactician Newt can be.” Oy.

Democrats are crying in their beer since they won’t get to go up against Herman Cain. “The latest example of how unconventionality (is that a word?) is backfiring on Cain? His odd — and much panned — decision to back out of a scheduled sit-down today with the editorial board of the New Hampshire Union-Leader, a major conservative force in the Granite State. ‘I think it’s crazy for a guy who want to be a major presidential candidate here in New Hampshire not to take the opportunity for a full length interview with the state’s largest newspaper,’ said Joe McQuaid, the publisher of the Union-Leader. ‘I don’t think the guy is going anywhere now anyway.’ Ouch.”

Democrats are biting their fingernails for good reason. “In comparison to recent incumbents running for re-election, Obama’s 46% approval ranks above only Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford — who both lost their re-election bids — in November of the year before an election. Most incumbents who were re-elected had an approval rating above 50% a year before the election. But George W. Bush, at 50%, and Richard Nixon, at 49%, also won re-election, and Bush’s father George H.W. Bush had a 56% approval rating yet lost to Bill Clinton the following year.”

Democrats should be ruing the day they climbed on the OWS bandwagon. “On the way to B of A, they paused at Citi to scream at the walls. These are college students, acting like 2-year-olds throwing a tantrum. What does that tell you about their critical thinking skills — and about the standards of American higher education? The likes of the New York Times expect us to take such incoherent spasms of rage seriously as a political ‘movement.’ What does that tell us about the standards of the liberal media?”

Republicans should be keeping their ears open. “Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a rising GOP star who is often mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate, isn’t convinced that immigration restrictionism is a political winner for Republicans. ‘The Republican Party should not be labeled as the anti-illegal immigration party,’ he said Monday on Fox News, according to a report in the St. Petersburg Times. ‘Republicans need to be the pro-legal immigration party.’ Later in the week, he told Univision News that Republicans would do better to tone down the overheated rhetoric and focus on a positive immigration reform agenda.”

Republicans should be aiming their fire as accurately as this guy — or maybe try him out as a presidential candidate. “At this stage, though, it’s not even surprising to me that with our fiscal situation again about to explode, Iran about to get nuclear weapons, and Europe about to drag us under economic water for several more years, the president is . . . hobnobbing in the Pacific. Not that I think, incidentally, that it is intrinsically foolish to deploy a Marine unit in the south Pacific. But the great fanfare associated with it, in contrast to the real and critical challenges we face right now, almost everywhere else on the earth BUT the south Pacific, makes it seem tinny and pathetic.”

Republican voters soon will be opening their eyes, I suspect. Charles Krauthammer on Newt Gingrich and Freddie Mac: “I’m not sure how damaging it is, but let’s remember, when he was asked about this in the debate, he said: Well, I was there as a historian. And said (of what Freddie Mac was doing): This is insane and impossible. It turns out if that is what he said, he must have said it over and over again, because he got $25,000 a month for three years at one point and then two years later. If you wanted to deliver a message [that] it’s a bubble, you can do it in a minute, an hour, a day. But every month for five years?”

Republican voters should be running for their (political) lives. Herman Cain’s latest inanity: “We need a leader, not a reader.” Thunk.