Newt Gingrich is good at providing entertainment in Republican debates
By Rachel Weiner,
There’s virtually no chance he’ll be the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, but last week Newt Gingrich reminded viewers why he’s still a household name.
After flailing a bit in early debates and focusing most of his anger on the moderators, Gingrich has figured out how to appear above-it-all while still scoring points off the other candidates.
The former House speaker said in last week’s New Hampshire debate that Sarah Palin was right about death panels and that former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the authors of the summer 2009 Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform legislation, should go to jail.
Are Gingrich’s rhetorical bombs going to spark a rise in polls? Probably not. All Gingrich can really hope for is fans, not votes. If he keeps flame-throwing, he should be just fine in that department.
The only danger for Gingrich is that with so many debates, he will run out of quotable material. But the former speaker’s big advantage over many of the more viable contenders is his ability to riff on nearly any question. In a crowded field filled with candidates who barely veer off their talking points, he’s made a case for his continued presence.
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