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Chewing through the not-Romneys, leaving Newt

Chewing through the not-Romneys, leaving Newt

As you know, I’ve been inching closer towards Newt as the not-Romney.  I don’t believe being not-Romney is enough, and of all the remaining candidates, I believe that Newt has the ability to articulate a vision of this country which establishes him as the candidate to take on Barack Obama even if there were no Romney to not be.

The media and Republican establishment chewed on Sarah Palin for three years.  She was one tough cookie who could have been a contender, but decided her efforts were best elsewhere.

They chewed through Michele Bachmann in a few weeks, and Rick Perry (who was something of a self-chewer) in a few debate nights.  Now they’re onto Herman Cain, who is feeding the beast with a series of self-inflicted responsive and policy flubs.

Santorum, Huntsman, Paul and Johnson are not chew-worthy as far as the media and establishment Republicans are concerned.

Which leaves us with Newt.  He’s been chewed on for so long that his endurance is admirable.

Paul Gigot is seeing what I’m seeing in terms of Newt’s viability, Can Gingrich Break Through?

The College Board and News Corp. sponsored a forum on education with four GOP presidential candidates last week, and the runaway winner was Newt Gingrich….

[Bachmann, Santorum and Cain] stuck mainly to their talking points, but Mr. Gingrich kept the crowd of 1,000 or so engaged and entertained with a wide-ranging tutorial on everything from the failures of “L.A. Unified” to Jeb Bush’s Florida “virtual school.” The session was a reminder of Mr. Gingrich’s knowledge of government and rhetorical skills, which were overwhelmed by his early campaign missteps.

This is an unusual primary season, however, and the question is whether voters will now give Mr. Gingrich another look. The former House speaker’s allies think so. They say Ms. Bachmann and Rick Perry can’t come back, Herman Cain will fade as his national sales tax gets broader scrutiny, and neither Mr. Santorum nor Jon Huntsman has attracted much voter support. That leaves Mr. Gingrich to emerge from Iowa as the main challenger to Mitt Romney. Even if Mr. Romney wins New Hampshire, the campaign then becomes a two-man race heading into South Carolina and Florida, where Mr. Gingrich’s debating talents and conservative agenda will contrast with Mr. Romney’s poll-driven caution.

I”m not quite there yet, but Newt’s gravitational pull is becoming stronger not weaker as time goes by.

Update:  Stumbled upon this oldy but goody:


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


This also may mean nothing, but while you’re chewing, here’s a tweet from Dr. Gina Loudon to chew on:

drginaloudon Gina Gentry Loudon
I have it on good word that Sarah Palin is reconsidering…
1 hour ago!/drginaloudon

Sorry prof, but my confidence in Cain is stronger than ever.

Don’t tell me that you’re gonna let the democrat attack machine run you off without a fight.

Newt is a smart guy BUT is also an old political hack. Many of his recent statements leave me absolutely C-O-L-D such as his position on amnesty for illegals.

Than gawd that you’re off the Perry kick. When Perry entered the race, my first observation was excess political baggage and… Ahem, that and his own artificial persona came into play. As a Texas resident, I saw that one “real easy like.”

Newt needs to remain in academia where ideas can be explored and perhaps introduced to those that can do something about any given situation.

Getting back to Cain… I know that his 9-9-9 plan would never fly but it is a proposal to begin the dialog to truly reform and simplify the IRS.

One thing for sure… I will be an interesting twelve months ahead..

Twitter rumor that Palin is reconsidering. Please, please, please, please …

Newt definitely benefits from already having his baggage already known. The Dems and media won’t find anything new. I still like Cain though. Maybe a Gingrich/Cain ticket?

What kind of SCOTTSDALE judge would Gingrich nominate vs Romney?

Cain was financial advisor for Dole prez campaign in 1996.
Cain ran for Prez in 2000.
Cain ran for U.S. Senate in 2004.

The only reason Cain isn’t a long-time politician is that he’s never won office.

But he’s been a DC operative since at least 1996.

This is similar to Mitt Romney, who would have been a lifelong politician if he could only have won more races! As it is, he only won one race for MA governor.

And please follow the long trail of friendship between Mitt Romney and Herman Cain.

Vet, vet, vet all candidates.

Maybe we’re back to “Newtie and the Beauty” as Dennis Miller predicted a couple years ago. Gingrich/Palin, or better yet – the other way around! #winning

I’m totally there with you on Newt! At this point I really see Newt as the best of the bunch. Cain is refreshing, but do we really want a gaffe prone candidate with ZERO political experience to be our candidate? You’re asking America to take him on pure faith and after 4 years of BHO, who was elected exactly on faith (and Hope and Change), the public may be weary of such candidates.

And when Newt was Speaker, he did something! He manged to balance the budget and enact welfare form with Clinton in office. Newt his conservative principles and has stuck to them.

Yes, Newt has some troubling things in his record. His desire to always be the smartest guy in the room leads him to immediately stake out positions (which turned out to be totally wrong)on things like global warming. But we are not going to resurrect Ronald Reagan from the grave. In my view, Newt is the best thing we have going. And most importantly, he is not Romney!

On the others, Perry, well . . ., shall I say has disappointed. His instincts seem all wrong to me. His entire early argument for in state tuition for illegals, to wit “compassion” has led this country down the path to bankruptcy. His book Fed Up was good, but I wonder how much of it he wrote. Sometimes Perry seems like a blue dog democrat.

Bachman and Santorum have good things to say, but seem to be fading.

[…] response to a post at Legal Insurrection about the increasing likelihood that the last man standing next to Mitt Romney will be Newt […]

The media assault on Cain is despicable — but I think it’s important to point out that it was and is conservative-minded GOP primary voters who keep “chewing” through all these not-Romneys. First, they dropped Newt when it appeared his campaign was imploding. Then, they brushed off Pawlenty based on…what exactly…? Then they burned quickly through Bachmann ostensibly and oddly because media attacks on her were making her less viable and hopes shifted to wooing Perry — or someone else presumed to be a heavier weight — into the race. Then Perry looked goofy instead of Reaganesque so his poll support evaporated faster than Newt’s divorce rate and Cain got the nod.

Now, Cain looks a lot less than he seemed a week ago. My own view is that the Politico attack is scurrilous but that Cain showed himself to be an almost wholly unprepared candidate long before it hit, so bloggers and pundits should not be surprised by his amateurish response this week.

And now, it’s back to Newt.

What y’all should get straight in your minds is that there is no such thing as a perfect candidate. Based on his record as California governor, Reagan would never pass the purity tests being imposed on these candidates.

Newt is formidable. I am still gathering evidence that his immense intellect and his larger ego have each learned to keep out of the other’s way. I wish he appeared more austere and fit. He has all of Clinton’s talent and none of his charm or good looks, and I’m nervous that Newt will similarly squander a Presidency on self-indulgence.

    PrincetonAl in reply to Mark30339. | November 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Right on. I do not see any evidence that he is tempermentally fit for the office, and just as importantly that the independent voting bloc won’t perceive that as well. Replacing a narcissist with a self-indulgent egotist would still leave me hungry for a real leader …

    The ability to toss off good ideas – and never follow through on them – or to chase the latest intellectually pretty bauble off the rails of conservative principles – say global warming – doesn’t leave me feeling we are actually going to be much better off with him as we could be.

    I’m open to him, but I actually think his nomination will hurt the party in the short to medium-turn because he is such a throwback – he is not perceived as the future of anything, and his personal baggage.

I need to turn off autocorrect. Scottsdale should be SCOTUS.

Newt has a lot of problems, as I see it: 1. Dems and a lot of indies hate him for being the embodiment of Republican meanie-ism going back to the 1990s. 2. Perhaps related to “1,” he is in the Dick Cheney tradition of old- and dour-looking Republicans. It really helps a GOP prez candidate if you are a rugged, tan, handsome, outdoorsey type of guy. RWR epitomized this, but the Bushes had a lot of that going for them too. (Dole and McCain, not so much.)

3. There still seems to be a lot of resentment against Newt for misreading/squandering GOP gains in 1994, through the gov’t shutdown, etc.

4. Social conservatives think he’s the devil incarnate because of his marital history.

Personally, I’d be happy to wake up some morning in America and find that Newt was the president. I just think there are certain “structural” barriers to that goal.

I’m leaning toward the Newt camp as well. One big plus for Newt: he would make mince meat of Teh One in a debate.

William A. Jacobson | November 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm

The “Newt visited his cancer stricken wife in hospital to tell her getting a divorce” thing, turns out not true,

    Well, it is not true according to his now adult daughter who loves her dad, was 13 at the time, and may or may not have been fully aware of what happened between her parents in 1980.

    If Newt draws anywhere near real contention, everyone who ever knew him and his ex-wives will be on line to feed endless stories about Newt’s private life. You might not have realized this a week ago, but if Herman Cain gets the present treatment over supposedly making suggestive remarks and “gestures,” it should not be hard to see how rough it will be for Newt. Even if it was 30 years ago.

    To be sure, candidates can survive this stuff and Bill Clinton is living proof of this. But it ain’t easy.

It is impossible to under-emphasize the advantage that Democrats obtain by viewing candidates on the Progressive side with a different moral prism than Conservatives. Politico would never have published those articles if they were about Obama.

This advantage is raised exponentially when we consider that the Right trashes its own, a point frequently raised by Mr. Jacobson on this website.

The Left offers cover for blunders, and in a swarm adopts the cover that seems to stick, however far from reality. The Right rips its own and leaves them bruised and bloody.

I am tired of hearing that our morality demands a higher standard. It is like pushing the ‘cooperate’ button in Prisoner’s Dilemma while the other side hits ‘Take it all.’ It is not a question of morality; we are all imperfect. It is a question of stupidity.

Sure, it does not help that the Republican party is still in many respects a dime-store version of Big Government even while the debt crisis looms ever higher. And it does not help that few politicians can articulate the moral case for limited government.

Newt is one of the few politicians that can address these issues. For that, he should attract much less disdain from the Right than he does.

“The media and Republican establishment chewed on Sarah Palin for three years. She was one tough cookie who could have been a contender, but decided her efforts were best elsewhere.”


Though, at her age, there will be other opportunities. (I hope)

If Romney did not exist, Newt would be the presumptive nominee and I would be desperately looking for an Anyone-But_Newt candidate. He’s unreliable, inconsistent, prone to fits of incredibly bad judgment, and about a quarter as smart as he thinks he is.

Cain is not out of it yet but if he does lose steam and it comes down to a choice between Newt and Mitt, I guess I’ll pick Newt … and then start looking for a 3rd party to support because it will be a sure sign that the Republican party has become a complete waste of space.

I R A Darth Aggie | November 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Newt? the man who thinks cap & tax is a good idea?

Or has he recanted sharing a sofa with Nancy??

    Now the prefect is becoming the enemy of the good. Back before ClimateGate, back when the economy was still good enough for us to actually contemplate insane things like carbon taxes, there was a time where Global Warming looked real. Also, the whole green movement was in full swing and it looked like the Republican party was finished. Wasn’t it Mitch McConnell who said back in ’07 that the GOP was headed to being a “regional party”.

    I’m going to give Newt a pass on Global Warming. And at least Newt has had the guts to say he was wrong, which Romney can not bring himself to do.

Let’s speculate on a Gingrich VP & cabinet:

VP: Palin, she’ll draw a lot of fire off the boss and help with the female independents.

State: Mitt Romney, for same reason Obama picked Hillary

Treasury: Not Herman Cain, way too willing to say what he thinks — will really screw up markets.

HHS: Dr. Tom Coburn, Senator from OK (the man is capable — plus, this removes a possible obstacle in getting legislation through the Senate).

Labor: Herman Cain, compensation for lincoln/douglas debate

HUD: Elizabeth Dole, why not?

Defense: Just don’t let Colin Powell anywhere near this.

Justice: Boy scouts need not apply, Newt will want a loyal machiavellian like Holder — I just can’t think of one.

teaandbonbons | November 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I am finding myself drawing the same conclusions as you, Wm. I was just telling my husband last night that Perry’s been a disappointment, PDS will soon become CDS, and that leaves Newt. I am so much against Romney that if he is nominated, I will refrain from voting for the first time in my life rather than vote for him.

Newt has his faults, but one reason that I genuinely like him is that he is incredibly articulate. He is the best communicator from the GOP contenders by far. He’s also a good debator, which is important when he goes up against Obama. He’s even a little bit likeable. I’ve never been enthusiastic about him for President, but given our options, he’s coming out ahead, for me.

Additionally, he’s been through the scandal wringer so much by now that everything about him is old news. I won’t go so far as to say he’s impervious, but compare him to Cain’s vulnerability, and Newt’s more likely to survive a character assasination attempt.

Unless things change drastically, Newt’s the guy for me. I took a long time making up my mind, and right now I don’t see me changing it, barring something unforeseen.

teaandbonbons | November 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Oh, and another thing is that Newt is a policy wonk. Out of all the GOP contenders, he has the most breadth and depth of knowledge of policy, and he knows exactly where he stands on everything. Unlike some of his opponents, he never speaks out of both sides of his mouth. If anyone wants to get into a policy debate with Newt, they’ll be hard-pressed to be as well prepared as him–ESPECIALLY Obama.

I’m pretty sure I know which Newt you support, and I’d support that Newt as well. But I wonder how anyone can think they know which Newt we’d get. The principled conservative Newt has reappeared lately, but I’m afraid the old Newt that panders to liberals and gets snookered by them is still in that suit somewhere.

I’ve been heading down this track myself. I jumped off the Cain train a couple of weeks ago (even though I was never really sold.) I despise the current witch hunt, however.

Romney? Can’t. Just can’t.

I’m not writing off a Perry resurgence, but my hopes are dimming.

So, it’s looking like Newt. I think. I’m still holding Dede Scozzafava against him, though.

BannedbytheGuardian | November 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm

I was impressed at Newt’s very quick comprehension of Dinesh d’Souzas’ theories on Obama’s innate political drivers.

It is very rare for an American to get their heads around British Empire legacy clearly & therefore understand Obama’s total anti -anglo sentiments.

I salute Newt for he gets what has eluded 99% of Americans.

” Oh, and another thing is that Newt is a policy wonk. “

There are plenty of policy wonks of surpassing eloquence and charisma at the Cato and Manhattan Institute. Doesn’t mean they are presidential material.

My objection is that Newt-looks-good-now meme did not come about as a result of a latest debate performance; but more of a reaction to a candidate’s reaction to a hit piece designed by the Left to hijack our primary.

I just don’t buy the ‘college professor/politician is much better at surviving a scandal’ as a winning virtue. Newt can just as easily disintegrate when the media complex is sated with Cain and turns its attention to Newt.

That said, my frontrunners have been narrowed to Cain, Perry and Newt. The latter not on account of Legal Insr’s seeming preference but my opinion of the candidate’s debate performance + monetary knowledge + market appeal + executive experience + commitment to upholding constitution.

Can I see any of them staring down the unions like Reagan, manage recalcitrant Dems or talk tough with mid-east despots? Honestly no. Hopefully their cabinet picks will make up for that deficiency. Do I think any of them are qualified to help the economy+institute tax reform. Yes. Do I think any of them can debate with BO+his telemprompter; that will be just Cain and yes…Newt.

Be Good Bereans and don’t haphazardly pick your candidates based on a pastiche of blogs, comment sections and links.

    teaandbonbons in reply to Aucturian. | November 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    There are plenty of policy wonks of surpassing eloquence and charisma at the Cato and Manhattan Institute. Doesn’t mean they are presidential material.

    Compared to, say, Cain and a few other candidates.

    I’m not saying Newt is the best choice for President based on any of my arguments; he is just appearing to be the best of our dismal options at the moment.

    The most frustrating part of the whole thing is I did NOT want to choose a favorite by process of elimination. I’d rather have a candidate I can really believe in and get behind. Alas, this is not to be. The last one standing after all the others have been shot out of the sky does not bode well for the Republicans in 2012 at all.

Please tell me that Jeb is going to change his mind and get into the race. I’d love to have Palin but we all know how the DEMSM will savage her and that this will make her unacceptable to the voters who don’t pay much attention to what is going on during the race. Jeb could at least survive this vile nonsense.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to turfmonster. | November 3, 2011 at 12:18 am

    No way jose. Jeb has to sit this out until Chelsea gets to be 35. 2016 for the Mighty Dynasty Wars .

    They are designing the vases as we blog.

      LOL! That is a good one but we could have Hillary! finding a way to win the nomination during the convention in 2012 – they could even use the ol’ saying “Tanned, Tested, Rested, and Ready” with her. I don’t think too many supporters in the Democratic party nowadays would understand where this saying came from.

Dear Professor, I really have trouble believing your stated interest in Newt is not tongue-in-cheek. Surely, you realize as good a performance as Newt can deliver he is wildly erratic and doesn’t actually believe any of the conservative line he espouses from time to time.

Please tell me you understand this and have not been taken in by one of the greater hucksters of the early 21th Century…

The truth is that we don’t have one candidate that will please everyone. As it is said, “Purfik is the enemy of good”.

“He’s been chewed on for so long that his endurance is admirable.”

I hate to pick on the Good Prof, but what the hell does this mean, exactly?

Newt pnce made a name for himself opposing Clinton and his various bad ideas. But when he got to the top (so to speak), he fumbled badly.

So what has Newt been doing for the past decade or so? Mainly he’s been talking. He talks pretty well — not great, but for pol he does OK.

How much “endurance” does talking require? How admirable is spending years and years talking?

What exactly has Newt accomplished in all that time?

I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone with any sense would find talking endlessly without accomplishing anything of significance for as long as Newt has, a qualification for being POTUS.

There are real candidates out there with real records — yet they are dismissed (for example) on the grounds of entirely subjective opinion of a performance in a meaningless utterly debased TV ritual only given credence by creatures of such appallingly bad judgement they should, in a right & proper world, be totally banned from any field of human endevour. Forever.

If that statement seems intemperate, I only make only to drive home the essential (and dangerous) silliness of favoring words over deeds.

Please, Prof. — tell us it’s just jet lag.

DINORightMarie | November 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I just read this article in he American Spectator, and thought it might be food for thought here.

If Newt didn’t have so much baggage……..