Apparently, Newt Gingrich believes the polls in Florida that he will lose badly today, dealing a likely fatal blow to his candidacy. How else to explain his desperate measures in the final hour. One example: Newt accusing Mitt Romney of cutting kosher meals under Medicare. Or another: President Obama, according to Newt, is trying to transform the United States into Cuba.

Newt is making the same mistake that many other candidates and their campaigns make in their desperate final hours — remember Bill Clinton’s attacks on Obama on behalf of his wife? — with the same familiar results: his attacks will only hurt him in the short-term and damage his reputation long-term.

It is not clear whether Newt cares much for what people think of him, which is part of his strength. But I find his provocations much more appealing when they are spoken on behalf of his causes rather than on behalf of himself.